A Renoir and a former umbrella company – A Connection?

Retail in Full Circle

One wonders the Renoir painting, The Umbrellas, is in Leicester because of its association with the former local company Kendall & Sons, manufacturer of famous umbrellas during the period of the painting. The company’s slogan was “Kendalls Keep You Dry”.

Kendalls and Sons was started by local Market Harborough farmer, William Wheeler Kendall whose rainwear and ladies wear company, founded in 1870, was bought by Combined English Stores in 1977 and subsequently purchased by (J) Hepworths, a Leeds based menswear company (established 1964).

This company changed its name into today’s multinational, Enderby based, NEXT plc which now includes Cath Kidston, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Fatface and now, full circle, local MH company Joules.