Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn, Stratford on Avon
Crabtree & Evelyn in Guildford High Street

Crabtree & Evelyn (pronounced /ˈkræbtriː ænd ˈiːvlɪn/) is an American retailer of body and home products with stores globally. According to its website, Crabtree & Evelyn uses over 160 “natural botanical ingredients” in its skin care products. It is wholly owned by KLK, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad., a Malaysian company that also owns palm and rubber tree plantations. The company is Malaysia’s third-largest palm oil producer. [1]



The company was founded in 1972 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Cyrus Harvey. The first retail store was opened in 1977 by Stephen Miller in the Philadelphia area.

The Company's name is inspired by the 17th Century renaissance Englishman John Evelyn, who wrote one of the first important works on conservation. He is also known for his writings on food, including a book on salads, in which he introduced the first salad dressing made with olive oil to Europe. The Crabtree or Wild Apple symbol is native to Britain and the ancestor of all cultivated apple trees [2] It was highly prized for its beauty, as well as its usefulness in home apothecary. Although certain documents and much of the current marketing is consistent with the information above, a number of early Crabtree & Evelyn documents point to the name being inspired by a "George Crabtree", who is allegedly a "17th century Englishmen".[citation needed]. If "George Crabtree" was a indeed a fictionalised entity (in the vein of "John Bull" or,"Uncle Sam') [3] the surname `Crabtree' and the reason behind its selection would still be consistent with current marketing.

In 1996, Cyrus Harvey decided to sell the company, and it was sold to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad. While funded and managed by the holding company in Kuala Lumpur, day-to-day operations—such as research and development, manufacturing, and design—continue to be based in the UK and US.

The London-based parent company is owned by CE Holdings, an investment holding company based in the British Virgin Islands. CE Holdings is owned by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Overseas Investments, another investment vehicle based in the Virgin Islands. These two holding companies are subsidiaries of its parent company, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad.[4]


On July 1, 2009, the company’s U.S. operations filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

By the end of July 2009, the company had closed a little over 30 of its retail locations in the United States due to an inability to re-negotiate leases with those locations. The employees of those closed stores were terminated and received compensation. In the beginning of 2010, the company had recovered from bankruptcy.


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