Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,747 pages of information and 232,260 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1871 Thomas Lipton (1848-1931) used his small savings to open his own shop, in Glasgow, Scotland - Lipton's Market.
By the 1880s the business had grown to more than 200 shops.
1888 By this time his empire had grown to 300 stores; Lipton then entered the tea trade and opened his tea-tasting office. He started by-passing traditional trading and wholesale distribution channels in order to sell teas at unprecedentedly low prices to the working class. In order to provide his shops with goods, Lipton bought plantations and in doing so - amongst other things - he established the famous Lipton tea brand.
1898 Lipton Ltd was registered on 3 March, to take over the provision-supplying business in Great Britain of Sir Thomas J. Lipton, with tea growing estates in Ceylon and factories and warehouses in London and elsewhere. 
1914 Tea growers and merchants, provision merchants, naval and military contractors. Specialities: tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, preserves (jams, marmalade, bottled fruits etc.), provisions of every description, poultry, game etc. Employees 10,000. 
1922 British Industries Fair Advert as the 'Largest Manufacturers and Distributors of Food Products in the World'. Lipton's are the Actual Manufacturers of: Biscuits, Cocoa, Chocolate, Confectionery, Pickles, Sauces, Jams and Jellies, Marmalade, Sausages, Potted Meats, Coffee Essence, Cornflour, Farinaceous Preparations. By appointment to H. M. King of Spain; H. M. King George V; T. M. King and Queen of Italy. (Stand No. B.7) 
1929 Liptons was one of a number of retail companies that formed Allied Suppliers to enable group purchasing of supplies; others included Home and Colonial Stores, Maypole Dairy Co, Meadow Dairy Co and Pearks Dairies.
1930 Allied Stores was registered to acquire Home and Colonial Stores, Meadow Dairy Co, Maypole Dairy Co, Pearks Dairies and the International Tea Company's Stores and also shares of Lipton Ltd but the merger fell through.
Lipton's became a supermarket chain focused on small towns, before Allied's acquisition by Argyll Foods in 1982. The supermarket business was rebranded as Presto during the 1980s.