Category: Archive

Waterford’s future

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Waterford Crystal has not just been a worldwide leader in the production of high quality blown glass but is arguably the biggest name in the business.
It would be impossible to guess at the numbers of homes across the continents that contain Waterford pieces in cupboards or on proud display in glass fronted cabinets.
Waterford Crystal trophies have become a standard for major sports events while even the famous ball that signals the arrival if the New Year in Times Square is made by the company.
Nothing, however, comes with a guarantee of permanence, most especially in business.
Changing tastes and fashions and competition from lower cost producers have been chipping away at Waterford’s market dominance for some years now.
The recession, as global as the reach of Waterford’s many and varied glass products, has lately imposed its own effect, adding to the losses of the Waterford Wedgwood company and forcing the closure of the Kilbarry plant in Waterford, a place where countless American visitors have admired the work of the company’s glass blowers.
Kilbarry is an unhappy place this week. Workers have been staging a sit-in. There is talk of possible government intervention, reports of possible U.S. buyers and a continuing hope that, somehow, the production of the highest quality crystal glass will survive in the city that made it famous.
It is to be hoped indeed that this is not the end and that something can be salvaged from the present, most discouraging, situation.

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