Gillow’s of Lancaster can be traced back to the luxury furniture and furnishings firm founded by Robert Gillow in 1730.During the 1730s he began to exploit the lucrative West Indies trade exporting mahogany furniture and importing rum and sugar. Following his death in 1772, the business was continued by his two sons, Richard and Robert. In 1764 a London branch of Gillow’s was established at what is now Oxford Street, by Thomas Gillow and William Taylor.
After suffering financial difficulties at the end of the 19th century the company began a loose arrangement with Waring of Liverpool, an arrangement legally ratified by the establishment of Waring & Gillow in 1903.
Waring’s of Liverpool was founded in 1835 by John Waring, Belfast in 1835 and established a wholesale cabinet making business. He was succeeded by his son Samuel James Waring who quickly expanded the wholesale cabinet making business. Throughout the 1880’s the company was known for furnishing hotels and public buildings throughout Europe. Samuel also founded Waring-White Building Company which built the Liverpool Corn Exchange, Selfridge’s department store and the Ritz Hotel.