Royal Doulton

Oct 3rd, 2006, in Business & Economy, by

The Royal Doulton Company is happy with its investment in Indonesia and plans to put another $125 million into its operations here.

Sir Anthony O’Reilly, the chairman of Waterford Wedgwood Plc., the owner of the Royal Doulton brand, met with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the presidential palace in Jakarta on the 2nd and announced that Waterford Wedgwood/Royal Doulton, a manufacturer of ceramic and china dinnerware, would expand its factory at Tangerang, Banten (western Java, near Jakarta) at a cost of 125 million US dollars.

Waterford Wedgwood, which apart from its famous Royal Doulton china cups, plates, and saucers also produces figurines, has two factories in Asia, with the other being located in India. However, according kompas to Trade minister Mari Pangestu’s recollection of conversations with Sir Anthony, Indonesia is the preferred location due to the workforce here being more skillful and patient. 150,000 Royal Doulton branded pieces are produced each week at the Indonesian factory.

Ninety-seven percent of the output of Royal Doulton’s Indonesian operations are exported, at an annual value of around $30 million. With the new investment, which will also see the development of some research and design facilities, carried out over three years, the company has hopes that this figure will double.

Sir Anthony O’Reilly said on May 20th 2007 that the company plans to raise its ceramic wares production capacity in Indonesia from 6 million to 12 million pieces per year, with manpower requirements going up from 1,350 at present to about 2,000, and a further $25 million being invested.

73 Comments on “Royal Doulton”

  1. Ajokz Kurnia says:

    Indonesia People are famous of their hand made-arts which need skillful hands, technic, patience, and lots of concentration.

    Batik is one of Indonesia’s famous art. To finish 2,5 metres cloth, it could take weeks. Hand made.
    how long do you think it takes to spray paint on a porcelain ?

    what the difference of workmanship beetwen Uk or Indonesia?

    the company itself which lowering it’s quality. I mean they set a lower standard for their products for a lower price.

    rejection is one of the changing policy. in Uk before, they set a high rejection which caused a higher price. the cost of rejection is put into retail price of “approved” products.

    Now because of crysis, they can’t set a high price. because they know, their products are not as saleable as before because of the price.
    So they set a lower price by set lower number of rejection and cheaper raw materials.

  2. Prematie Balroop says:

    Makro is also doing a deal on Royal Doulton china for “valued coustomers” , for every £30 you spend you get a stamp, get 5 stamps and you pay £30 for a 18 piece Royal Doulton dinner set worth £144 and on the box it says Made in China, Is this false advertising? by Makro

  3. Ajokz Kurnia says:

    of course not. £144 is the highest retail price, lets say you can buy it in a store for just £110 or in another store only £100.

    and once again it’s retail price. the grocery price could be just £75. and it’s still not a production cost yet. maybe the production cost is only £30. after added distribution cost, marketing cost, and profit it is called grocery price.

    so, nothing is wrong about the advertisment. you just pay for the production cost. the company still can gain profit from your another purchase.

  4. Ajokz Kurnia says:

    who set £144 as the highest retail price? the company. may be it’s just worth £100 but they set the price to highest retail price £144.

    Makro only gain higher number of customer whom will come to the shop because of the advertisement.
    Royal doulton has nothing to lose because of £30 payment.
    so it’s a win win solution

  5. Julian says:

    The clay used in the Indonesian facility actually comes from India and is of a better quality than the English clay. The Indonesian climate (warm and humid) is also better for the clay biscuit before it is fired. The workforce is highly skilled and when applying decals and accents their hands are more delicate.

  6. Jen says:

    I fell in love with the Moonlight Rose pattern and bought a tea cup on my last trip to Vancouver BC Canada. When I got hope I ordered a four place setting I found on Ebay… complete failure on my part to know the pattern and company moved. The set is made in Indonesia, something not imprinted on the china, but on the stickers. By no means the same quality as my English cup. I had worried I would not be able to tell my souvenir cup from the set… turns out, not a worry. I also paid entirely too much. If you think you are getting a deal- beware!

  7. kingwilly says:

    it’s a shame, but it is also the modern day and age. economics, not greed.

  8. Andrew Trezise says:

    I’m sorry, the above is WRONG! Royal Albert now is trash. If you want Old Country Roses, buy 2nd hand. The new stuff is coarse and inferior. Doulton sold out! Herend of Hungary and the Danish did not.
    I would never even pick up a piece of this inferior Indonesian china. Our department stores are filled with new asian trash. Second hand is the only option. Would you buy your Swiss watch from China? No thanks. (I’m in Australia)

  9. Robert McVey says:

    Unknowingly,I purchased several pieces of 100 years collection from David Jones. Nothing apart from a stick on code on one box gave any indication of the items being manufactured in Indonesia. the other code strips had been removed and all printed literature on the hat boxes or in enclosed information cleverly failed to indicate this fact whilst advertising the virtues of english china. The sale of this rubbish under these circumstances is virtually fraud by deception. If the company is so happy with closing the english factories in search of additional profits, why not advertise the new rubbish as Indonesian china manufactured to designs somewhat similiar to the genuine articles previously manufactured in England.

  10. asmith. says:

    it was sad when doulton took there factory to indonesia.i am a collector of doulton, but only the items made in england.i would never buy doulton that was made is of very little value as i saw figures being sold in tj williams for £19.99 before they closed down.what a sad feeling that was.

  11. Kelpie says:

    I would like to comment on the issue of Royal Doulton moving production to Indonesia. While I understand that for any business saving money on production costs will increase profits I believe that it has been a grave error of judgment for senior management and has now unfortunately, backfired. This grave error of judgment has ruined a proud and famous brand that prided itself on quality, customer service and a deep and meaningful history for the workforce and for the people of Stoke-on-Trent which is known worldwide as ‘The Potteries’.

    I was one of the workforce and still, over a decade later mourn the loss not only of my job, but of the loss of our Potters history and of skills, that according to what I have read on the comments on this website have not been passed on correctly and should never have been outsourced to anywhere in the world. The issues of so called ‘bad management’ at the factory level may or may not be correct and there are many issues that should have been addressed in the early nineties and had that happened Royal Doulton may have remained what it’s hard working predecessors always imagined, a proud, magnificent and forward thinking industry that produces a product that any member of the Doulton family and workforce both past and present would be honoured to endorse.

    I still, when I go out pass many of the sites of all the Doulton factories, many of which have been demolished to make way for housing estates and food retailers. One of the factories still has part of the main building standing and in use (not as a pottery manufacturer) only due to it being a listed building. I truly despair that England does not realise exactly what it has lost and customers all over the globe do not want to buy pottery made in Indonesia when it should STILL be an English product, made in England by a proud and highly skilled workforce who want to work but have had that opportunity taken from them by a badly made decision, not based on what the Royal Doulton brand originally stood for but for the sake of saving money on the bottom line. I firmly believe that had Doulton’s had money to invest in new technology, a more productive initiative for the workforce and showed clear understanding of the shifting trends and targeted it’s marketing to those trends then all of us proud Potters would still be employed and passing on our skills to a new generation.

    We must not forget that not only did those of us who worked on the factories lose our jobs but also the industries that supplied the factories suffered greatly and many no longer exist as there is none or very little demand for them now. I would also like to point out that I wish the Indonesian factories well and hope that in time they will be accepted and will carry the Royal Doulton brand into the future with a workforce that has the same pride in a job well done as we Potters had in England as they are now the workforce behind the Doulton brand and it is very unlikely that Royal Doulton will ever be made in the Potteries again.

    I would like to make a comment to ‘Julian’ though, a item of cast pottery is not classed as ‘biscuit’ until it has gone through the first firing and I beg to differ with you regarding the your opinion on Indian clay being better than that used by the Doulton factories, which I believe came from Cornwall and had other ingredients added to it to produce a clearly superior product that, according to the comments on this website can clearly be seen and felt when comparing an English made item to an Indonesian item. I am not professing to know anything about all the different clays in the world but just expressing a polite opinion with the experience I have gained over the years working in the pottery industry. Also regarding heat and humidity at the Indonesian factory being ‘better’ for the ware, I must say that it was as hot as hell on the factory where I worked and doubt very much that the conditions at the Indonesian complexes differs from what I experienced and it had no impact on the final product. Finally, there have been and still are many highly skilled people in the Potteries who worked on Doulton’s and to imply that they are not as skilled as their Indonesian counterparts is foolish, many having served up to 7 years as an apprentice in whichever stage of the manufacturing they wished to train in.

    I wish good fortune to all still involved in keeping the Royal Doulton brand alive but mourn a sad loss of pride, history, skill and the spirit that was Royal Doulton – England.

  12. Yaser Antone says:

    What a bunch of irrational and arrogant whites. Wake up guys, its twenty first century now, England is no more competitive.

  13. Oigal says:

    No difference to you Yasar you are only washing them..and stop knocking off the silverware 🙂

  14. Yaser Antone says:

    Is china a silverware?
    is this discussion about silverware?, you are genius oIgal.

  15. Oigal says:

    No it’s a country but a long way from the forklands.

  16. Kelpie says:

    I have read with a deep sense of dismay comments on this website such as’ the Poms have used and abused the rest of the world since the the start of the Industrial Revolution’ by
    ‘John Gault’ and therefore in a round about way it has served us right. That is a deeply offensive remark and shows as far as i am concerned a complete lack of understanding of the issue at hand and to add the comment ‘ whingeing Pom’ among others only supports the fact that for some reason Mr Gault revels in the Potteries misfortune.

    I would like to point out that had we headed the Industrial Revolution and conditions in those times were totally horrendous for the common workforce for both adults and children alike, so in many ways we, as a nation have ‘paid our dues’. Yes, it was a period in history that technology superseded humane working conditions and one that made massive profits for the industrialists such the cotton mill owners and the potters of the time at the terrible expense of the workforce as The Potteries was one of the most filthiest and most polluted towns in England with thick black soot covering everything due to the firing of ware in the bottle oven kilns of the time. I would also like to add that the rest of the, what we would call now ‘western world’ quickly adopted this technology to improve production regardless of the cost to the workforce in whatever industry it was needed so I firmly believe that no country should critique another on what happened hundreds of years ago and that we should all support each other globally in today’s multinational economy where competition, profits and the realist approach are always in the forefront of any international business.

    Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion and I respect that and for Mr Gault’s information Canada was one of the biggest importers and customers of Royal Doulton of their own free will, England did not force Canada to import any pottery from England or anything else for that matter so am at a loss as to where Mr Gault’s ire for us ‘ Poms’ originates from. We have never whinged about the loss of many of our industries only lamented the changing times and hoped that our Government would help which in the case of us Potters the Government did not. I am also at a loss regarding the comment that us ‘Poms wanted to hand over to the Luddites [a Pom initiative] and turn the world back hundreds of years’ what does this comment actually mean and who exactly would the Luddite would be?
    In my previous posting on this website I too have wished the Indonesian people every success and will continue to do so, but this forum is about Royal Doulton and related issues and not about misdirected ire from someone who in my opinion, should in his own words ‘get over it and move on’ and deal 21st century issues.

  17. M. Masters says:

    I have been a porcelain connossieur for over 40 years, following in the footsteps of my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The family porcelain collection, now under my stewardship, includes a fine collection of Prussian porcelain cabinet objects, Shelley trios, Limoges cabinet objects, hand painted art porcelain of landscapes, still life, and animals/birds, as well as a full set of T&V Limoges fine table service. The porcelain collection also includes vintage Royal Doulton figurines.

    I have studied porcelain for over 4 decades. You can rave all you want to about Indonesian figurines, but if you put an English-made figurine on the table and the same model made in Indonesia, I can easily tell the difference. The fine details and the color tones are far superior in the English-made objects. The Indonesian figurines lack depth and highlights in the folds of the ballgowns. But perhaps what disturbs me the most are the faces. The vintage figurines have genuine expression while those made in Indonesia have blank stares, eyes that are drawn by someone who has no idea what an eye looks like without an eyelid with an epicanthic fold, and complexions which are not balanced on both sides.

    I lived and worked in the Far East and I adore East Asian fine art. On my walls are a couple vintage Japanese pen and ink drawings on silk and a fine Chinese painting in water colors on genuine gold gilt.

    That said, Royal Doulton is only kidding itself when it thinks Indonesian-made figurines are the same quality as those painted by English artists. They are not the same and any porcelain connossieur worth his salt will tell you so.

  18. Karen says:

    hi ,
    please can anyone give me a rough price on a royal albert ” sea drift ” set
    6 cups
    6 saucers
    six plates
    1 large serving plate

    made in england

  19. Ajokz Kurnia says:

    Like I said before.

    Doulton is a multinational company. and it came from England (a country which always makes good products)

    So is Indonesia.
    can You make “Batik”? I believe it’s not that easy because it needs skillful hands. I believe Indonesia people have very skillful hands

    so, I can say that Doulton has very good standard procedures and standard tools.
    so it should not make any difference, wheter it is made in China, Indonesia or even England.

    what I want to say is nothing wrong about where it is produced.
    the differences are the quality of the raw material, maybe different tools and the lack of standard procedures.

  20. Ajokz Kurnia says:

    Production cost is not only about salary. It includes cost of the raw material, time cost, energy cost, acceptance criteria level.

    when we talk about energy cost, we talk about tools. different procedure.
    when we talk about time cost about different procedure also.
    when we talk about acceptance criteria level, we talk about energy cost and time cost.
    when we talk about raw material, we talk about the color, how it dispers, how it is sprayed, anything that we see and feel when we touch the final product.

    Do not always just compare the people.

    I believe, right now England made is better. because it is the country of origin.

    but it is not wise to judge England made vs Indonesia made, because there are so many different parameters other than just the people.

  21. connie says:

    i have collected quite a number of royal doulton royal albert sets. all of them are made in england. should any of you interested to see my collections…u can view at

    no matter what, the english made is the best. colors, shape, workmanship all perfect. too bad they have moved to indonesia but still pricey.

  22. Tarko says:

    A photograph is much more perfect than a painting. So never buy any painting.

  23. Eris says:

    I have nothing against Indonesia, but I do have to say this new production line set up by Royal Doulton is horrendous. Admiring my mother-in-law’s Old Country Roses set purchased thirty years ago, I decided to start a Royal Albert collection of my own. I purchased the Polka Roses tea cup and saucer from Macy’s, expecting an exquisite piece of china, when much to my dismay, I found a grain of black debris embedded in the white part of the cup. It could not be washed off. It could not even be picked off with a sharp knife. Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was bubbling in the gold trim also. Thinking that perhaps I just got stuck with a lemon, I ordered another Polka Roses tea cup from Macy’s, and this second one had a blank slash through the Royal Albert stamp and worse, an offcenter decal on the saucer. I didn’t expect such consistently poor quality from a prestigious brand such as this.

    A few other things I noticed but didn’t expect were that the pattern was not handpainted. Maybe decals have become the norm but I expect better quality for $20 USD a cup. At this standard, I might as well buy no-name Made in China porcelain, which brings me to the next thing I noticed. The stamp on the bottom of the pieces no longer says Fine Bone China. I wonder why that is? Is it because some components may not even be bone china? I checked all the pieces for translucency and the body of the tea cup (minus the flat bottom part) was opaque!

    This is not the Royal Albert that people love or will pay for. I’m massively disappointed.

  24. Marcus says:

    Yes, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood are made in China and Indonesia respectively. Yes, there are some subtle differences between the older Made In England products and the modern stuff. Does it matter?

    In 50 years time everything will be made in Pakistan or somewhere where manufacturing costs are driven down, and that generation will say “remember when things were made in China…”

    So what? If something is lovely and well-made I will like it. So there 🙂

  25. Rosle Moidin says:

    do they have factory outlet at Tangerang factory..

  26. Dalia Ismail says:

    I love all things beautiful regardless of price, but a bigger sucker if its easily available & cheaper. Whos going to inspect anyway. I wont tell if you wont! Sometimes quantity makes more sense when you have more than a dozen guests and thats when you can bring out the good china, instead of displaying what few precious pieces you can afford and thinking that its too precious for anyone! Visiting Indonesia next week, and would like to check out your factory. Please provide address.
    Thanks and Best Regards.

  27. joan shanfield says:

    We still sell the genuine made in England Royal Doulton. See us on we also have 3,900 doulton figurines made in England
    they are superior to the Indonesian product
    we are liquidating our business in Windsor Canada after 73 years

  28. prima kusuma says:

    So sad after read all the negative comments about Royal Doulton made in Indonesia. Made me wondering why The Company low grade their famous product into piece of junk? No matter where the factory expand outside England, i think if the company keep the quality standart like those which produced in England…. The product will be the same thing, Right? Instead of blame our country production, it would be nice to hear some clarifications from The Company, why they down grade the quality but still selling at the same expensive price for English made.

  29. -allan- says:

    Well I now understand why I have had such an unexpected experience with my china….. after only 5 years, my wedding gift, a 12 place setting of Royal Doulton china has been having a problem with the glaze cracking from underneath the pattern…. causing discoloration and terrible lines accross the pieces…. but only in about half of it. The pieces it is happening to are thicker, a little uneven in places, and now lead me to believe that some of my set was made in Indonesia – as the discussion here has described.
    Do you think there is any point in writing to the company to express my dismay? My grandparents (british) had royal doulton and they still use the same set to this day… half of mine looks like it is fit for the trash and i certainly do not serve guests on it.
    How very disappointing.

  30. kevin says:

    I like to visit the factory in jakarta to buy some pieces, hopefully at good price… can this be done?

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