T.H. Baker is born
T.H. Baker was founded by Thomas Henry Baker, a watchmaker and jeweller from Calne in Wiltshire.
Thomas Henry Baker's son Reginald joined the business, however following his untimely death, his sisters Phillis and Cecily began to work at the store, a highly progressive move for the time. Shortly after, Phillis and her husband, Frank Higgs, bought the business. A decade later Frank left to serve in the First World War, leaving Phillis to run the business on her own.
In March 1927, daughter Phillis Higgs inherited the property at 95 High Street, which is still owned by the company today, home to the group's head office.
The depression in the late 20s showed T H Baker's resilience and hard work where they strived to support their loyal staff, seeing the depression through with no staff losses. This care and support for T H Baker employees is something that has stayed with the business since.
In the 30’s Hugh and Rupert Higgs, grandsons of Thomas Henry Baker, joined the business but volunteered to serve their country on the Second World War, where Paul and Rosalie Higgs then joined the business, alongside the other brothers.
Further stores around the West Midlands were opened in Walsall and Wolverhampton reflecting the growth of the company, with some proving more successful than others. T.H.Baker & Company (Est. 1888) Limited was formed, celebrating the success of the business.
The company continued to open new stores in an ongoing effort to expand. Encouraged by the success at Worcester – trading in an agricultural area as opposed to the industrial Midlands where the firm was already well known, a store in Shrewsbury was also opened but later closed in the 1970s.
Current Chairman Alan Higgs, great grandson of Thomas Henry Baker, joined the business in 1972 soon after the company’s first foray into Christmas TV advertising on ITV channels throughout the Midlands.
Alan was appointed Managing Director and bought out the other family members, making him the sole owner of the business. At this time T H Baker was operating five stores, and a new branch in Halesowen’s Cornbow Shopping Centre joined the ranks in 1989.
The landscape of T. H. Baker stores continued to change. The company would go on to re-establish the business in Shrewsbury, which soon became the most successful shop in the group. Stores in West Bromwich and Redditch followed.
The fifth generation would begin their teenage years in the 1990s, and they would also enjoy their first taste of the family business by joining the company as Saturday shop boys
The company began its expansion outside of the Midlands, buying two stores in Horsham and Brighton, signifying the start of annual expansion plans that continue today. Phillip and Andrew Higgs, great great grandsons of Thomas Henry Baker, joined the business working alongside their father Alan Higgs.
Keeping up with current retail and technology trends, online stores were launched under The Watch Hut and Jewel Hut names. This move has proved extremely successful.
These next five years brought great growth with 12 Pandora stores opening, 2 more T H Baker stores in Reigate and Telford, as well as relocating the Brighton store to Churchill Square and the opening of two Swarovski stores in Watford and Worcester.
2013 was the 125th Anniversary of the company. A year of special events and celebrations were held where T H Baker gave away £125,000 of jewellery to loyal customers throughout the UK.
The growth of the business during the country’s latest financial hardship of the time is a testament to the hard work and drive of all T H Baker employees.
The successful partnership with Pandora continues and a new store opened in the Merry Hill shopping centre to cater for the vast numbers of customers who visit the store every week. To coincide with this the original T H Baker Merry Hill store was refurbished, with a new focus on our own unique Diamond collection and new watch brands.
The success of the business continues as T H Baker follows the values set out by Thomas Henry Baker in 1888. “Good value and a quality of service unmatched by its rivals”.
In 2017 T H Baker moves its head office to the larger establishment of WMM Brinton House, Kidderminster. The company's ongoing legacy continues, now with 24 stores across the Midlands and southern England.