Originally founded in 1874 by Abraham Altham, and trading under his name, the Company had 60 shops by 1880, selling groceries and hardware. Abraham Altham then became a Limited Company in 1894. Abraham Altham died at the age of 44 in 1886.
In addition, Althams were well known as Tea Merchants, having their own five brands of tea, all blended and packed under the Althams’ label. Customers buying the best brands were given tea cheques valued at 2d, 4d or 1/~. In later years, 2/6d and 5/~ tea cheques were added to the range: these tea cheques could be put towards the cost of Rail tickets which were sold in many of our branches as early as 1876.