How did Thomas Lipton create the giant tea brand?
When we hear the name “Lipton “, most of us remind a cup of tea.
But behind this brand, “The World’s best loser,” nicknamed businessman, philanthropist and athlete Thomas Lipton’s extraordinary story is hidden.
In December 1881, a steamship irons the city of Glasgow, Scotland. There is a cargo ship shipped from the United States. In the world’s largest cheese…
Hundreds of people come to the Lipton Deli in the city’s busiest main street, High Street, to see the apartment-shaped cheese, which is 1 metre thick and 4 meters around the perimeter.
But the giant cheese is too big to pass through the door of the shop. This time the exciting crowd runs to Lipton’s other large-door shop. The cheese is showcases in all its magnificence.
After this successful ad campaign, Lipton had another surprise.
Lipton, who hid a large number of coins into the giant cheese, started cutting the giant cheese a few days before Christmas, and the people ran to the front of the shop again. Police, while the crowd was difficult to hold, Lipton, the cheese slices wrapped in the lottery will hit them began to give to customers.
The young man who grew up in Gorbals, one of Glasgow’s poorest neighborhoods, threw the first seeds of his success thanks to his staged theatrical play.
While Fifteen years old, he saved money to go to America.
Lipton, who was founded in 1848, learned in a small shop which selling simple tools that his first father founded.
When he was 10 years old, he was carrying food products from boats that were anchored in the river with a cart. An entrepreneurial child who found work on a 15-year-old steamship as Deck Boy, had already made the money to buy tickets to the United States two years later.
In the states of Virginia and South Carolina, he entered tobacco and rice jobs in October, then went to New York.
Here he began working in one of the warehouses of the Irish-Scotland immigrant textile merchant, Alexander Turney Stewart. Stewart had signed a policy in the period of putting the standard price on their products instead of making special pricing for each person.
Steve Jaffe, curator of the New York City Museum, said that during Lipton’s career, Stewart was often inspired by this strategy:
“Low price, large capacity, many products… If you sell them at a reasonable price, you will earn your money again. ”
A new shopping experience
After five years in the United States, Thomas Lipton returned to Glasgow and knew what he wanted to do. The coaches were going to meet a whole new shopping experience.
The clean and bright deli store chain, where salespeople wore shiny white aprons, spread across the four sides.
But that was only the beginning. Lipton knew better than to buy good cheese and ham from the outside. Where his family grew up, he went to Fermanagh in Northern Ireland to pursue the products demanded by his customers.
Researcher Frank McHugh says Lipton talks to farmers and producers and hires people to make a price determination before they reach the market:
“It was a revolution, a completely different kind of business. Modern supermarkets work like this, they reach the farmers themselves, they throw the brokers out of the system. ”
The owner of the deli giant now wants to conquer the United States.
But Lipton was always looking for a new opportunity. Then he decided on a product that would be integrated with his name: Tea
Tea, It was a luxury for the British, until the 19th mid-century was reduced to mid-class homes.
Lipton went to Sri Lanka in 1890 and bought himself fertile soil for tea production.
With this move, he quickly lowered his opponents into a disadvantaged position. Thus, he would have brought the teas he produced on his own soil from the outside, and would not compromise the quality.
At that time, Lipton’s name has already been found in the streets of London’s upscale shops, mixed with high society.
In 1898, he opened his company to the stock exchange, holding the majority stake, 120 million pounds (1.3 billion dollars for today’s money).
When the genius businessman reached the age of 50, he had everything to do with his childhood dream.
American Cup dream
Giant sailboats and yachts have fascinated Lipton since childhood, making mock-ups of them and leaving them in Glasgow’s ponds.
Lipton now wanted to mingle with the elite’s yacht racing world.
Lipton, who wanted to compete in the American Cup (America’s Cup) from the world’s oldest international sporting events, was forced to fulfill this dream because of some rules.
He applied to the Royal Sailing Club, but even his fame and fortune were not enough to persuade them. Application denied.
He joined another yacht club in Northern Ireland. He did not win the first race when he entered in 1899 with his boat shamrock, but he won the hearts of many Irish Americans.
The tea industry empire of the man everyone was talking about is bigger than ever.
The historian Judith Krall-Russo said that she wanted to take pictures with Lipton at that time, treating her as “Elvis Presley “.
In the first year of World War II, Lipton turned his luxury sailing ship, Erin, into a marine hospital and handed it over to the International Red Cross organization. But a year later, the ship was sunk by German forces.
A number of times, Lipton has been very close to success, but he took the trophy away every time.
However, his grace in accepting defeat has given him great admiration in the United States.
In 1930, Lipton competed for the 5th and last time. After this defeat, Hollywood player Will Rogers launched a campaign to support Lipton’s athletic spirit and steadfast stance, which he described as the most passionate loser in the world.
A special gold trophy was created for Lipton:
“The best loser in the world.”
On the cup, he wrote:
“On behalf of hundreds of thousands of Americans and supporters, Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton.”
Lipton lost his life a year later and he left most of his wealth to Glasgow.
Today, Lipton’s giant supermarket chain is forgotten, and Lipton has continued its journey under the roof of Unilever as a tea brand.