40’s // Founded in 1947 by Peter Black the company produced shopping bags.
50’s // Company started sewing footwear uppers for a company in the Rossendale Valley and later goes into full footwear production.
60’s // In 1962 first satellite factory opens in Skipton, shortly followed by others at Ilkley, Shipley, Leyburn & Egremont.
70’s // In 1971 the business became a Public Company.
80’s // The company starts to diversify into homewares, toiletries, gifts, cosmetics & furniture. This was followed by the purchase of Hornsea Pottery. At this time the company employed approximately 5,000 staff across the PB Group.
90’s // At the beginning of the 1990’s the company began rationalising its portfolio with the sale of Homeware, Furniture and Hornsea Pottery (PB initially kept control of the leisure park Hornsea Freeport).
In 1992 the Footwear & Accessories divisions merged.
In 1994 Peter Black sold Hornsea Freeport to Freeport Leisure Plc.
In 1996 the company withdrew from UK Footwear & Bag manufacture, opting to source and manufacture products through the Far East and India.
In 1997 the company acquired healthcare business Ferrosan Ltd. to add to the English Grains business which it had acquired in 1989.
In 1999 the company acquired footwear sourcing business Fii Group Plc.
In the same year Peter Black opened the Trowbridge toiletries and skincare factory.
2000’s // In 2000 the company acquired personal care business Hexel International Ltd. In 2002/3 the Heathcare business was split up and sold.
In 2006 the company was acquired by private equity investors Endless LLP.
In 2007, PBFA was acquired by LF Europe, part of the Li & Fung Group.
Li & Fung is the leading consumer goods design, development, sourcing, and logistics company for major retailers and brands around the world. Operating through a global network of over 300 offices and distribution centres in 40 economies, Li & Fung’s growing network of 15,000 global suppliers provides quality-conscious, cost-competitive, consumer goods for our customers around the world.
LF Europe’s headquarters are in London, with offices throughout Europe. Our company provides a diverse range of private label products covering apparel, footwear, accessories, gifts, beauty, home and hard goods, promotional items, fireworks and seasonal celebration items, as well as a sophisticated customer-driven logistics capability.