BREAKING NEWS: Waltons becomes first dealer victim of coronavirus crisis

Waltons headquarters crop
Waltons Catering Equipment operated from a base near Bradford.

Waltons Catering Equipment has shut its doors this morning after a historic 99 years in business.

The Bradford-based distributor has become the first major UK dealer victim of the coronavirus impact, with all staff reportedly being notified today.

Catering Insight has reached out to Waltons, but has not yet been able to contact anyone. In automated email responses however, senior employees stated: “Due to the current Covid-19 situation, Arthur Walton Ltd has ceased trading with immediate effect for the foreseeable future.”

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The family business was established by Arthur Walton in 1921 and in 1940 the family moved to Bradford where they diversified into wholesale. The business thrived throughout the 80s and 90s with substantial growth, then generating a record sales year in 2016.

Operated from 10,000ft2 premises based just outside of Bradford, the headquarters housed over £500,000 of stock at any one time, with major brands supplied including Rational, Hobart and Genware.

An onsite cash and carry also housed sister company, Ue Coffee Roasters North. The coffee specialist supplied machinery, ingredients and full barista training to its customers.

The largest part of Waltons’ business was generated within the Yorkshire region but thanks to customer recommendations it also found itself installing new kitchens and supplying products throughout the entire UK.

Tags : dealerdistributorinsolvencyliquidationout of businesswalton catering equipmentwaltons
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. every company will use coronavirus as an excuse.

    Its not corona – just inefficiencies in a business and you can’t make any money selling products on low margins with a heavy expense account. Simple maths really.

    1. Why hide behind a cloak. This is the problem with this industry. If you have something to say don’t hide, man up. This is the worst thing that could hit our industry right now, How about we all pull together and stop the s**t stabbing in the back. This industry pays for all our Livelihoods. Feel for the family and team at Walton’s. This is a business that has heritage and a backbone. Things go wrong and businesses fail. But let’s put together rather than hide alias and make sly comments on social media. Think of all the poor chefs and their families at this time. Then all the business owners who will do all they can for their staff and staff’s families. Stop the bullshit and pull together please.

  2. Nice responses from various people all making assumptions about things they don’t know .

    What’s more important is that around 27 staff who have been loyal for many years in a family owned business are devastated along with the directors to see a company of 99 years close its doors .

    Coronavirus was just the final nail in the coffin .

    Hopefully other companies can stay safe and carry on during these unchartered waters !!

  3. Completely devastated to read our thoughts are with you all. Amazing company and people will be greatly missed in the industry.

  4. Like Chris Mansell I worked for them for a number of years and they have some great people working for them. Its always sad to see a company go under but in this environment its even worse.

    Hope all the team I worked with find work quickly.

  5. Gutted for all that are affected by this awful news. Our thoughts are with all the staff, customers and suppliers and I hope the knock-on effects are few and relatively painless.. Hopefully we will see some Walton faces pop up elsewhere in the industry!

  6. Very sad, lovely people, very professional. One of my favourite distributors ….Dealt with you as a supplier and a customer ……God bless you all . Alex, Clive your families and the AW team.
    Best wishes for the future.

    Chris Greenwood

  7. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry Arthur Waltons have really supported us as a company. I truly feel for the family and staff especially our regular driver and sales rep that visited us on a weekly basis. (I haven’t named names incase I’m not allowed to)
    I just want to say a huge thank you for everything.

  8. Sad news but a business knows when it’s heading for the rocks
    Can’t be a surprise for the directors but a shock for the staff

  9. So I’ve heard on the grapevine this morning that they’ve already reopened after conning us all out of £850k.

    I know we wont be supporting them & I hope all other suppliers do the same or this will keep happening

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