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18 June 2014
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Keiller's: Sticky Success

Sweet packing department
Sweet packing department
© Scran
The Keillers only employed approx. 300 people at their peak of production, which, when set against the 3200 that worked in Cox’s Lochee mill alone, it is evident that although their brand was growing at a quick rate, their impact on the local community was limited.

The Keillers did much for putting the city of Dundee on the national and international map, but within the city itself they were not recognised as the global brand that they were. Indeed, local historian Charles Maxwell stated in 1867 that “the Keillers' operation was small and unimportant when compared with the jute and flax spinning”. Alex Keiller also appreciated that his business was small-time locally and could not compete with the larger spinning businesses in terms of wages, so used this as an added justification for opening the Guernsey arm of the operation.

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