2015-Philip Garnet

Taking Over Hillards

Dr Philip Garnet, University of York

Co-Investigator: Dr Simon Mollan, University of York

Project summary: Hillards was a retail supermarket firm based in the North of England between 1885 and 1987. The business was predominantly owned by the Hillards and Hartley family members as a private firm until 1972, when a public offering was made. It remained managed by members of the Hartley family thereafter. The firm expanded through the 1960s and 1970s becoming an established regional chain. In the summer of 1987 Hillards was acquired by Tesco after a hostile takeover battle. This was the first hostile takeover in the UK supermarket retail sector. Within months the Hillards brand had disappeared and all of the senior management of the firm had been released. This project recorded the history of Hillards, with a particular focus on the event of the takeover.

A website for the project has been created: The Hillards Archive

The documents rescued as part of this research are now available for researchers at the Borthwick Archives in the University of York.