The firm started business under the name of Wilman, Spilhaus & Co on the 1st December 1876 at the top end of St George’s St, Cape Town. The founders of the firm were Mr Herbert Wilman & Mr Arnold Wilhelm Spilhaus.
When Mr Wilman retired in 1895, Mr Spilhaus took over .The firm was changed to Wm Spilhaus & Co. In 1915 the Company was changed into a limited liability company.
The business of the Company was that of Merchants and Commission Agents which involved the importation of goods and the export of South African products, particularly Wool, Skins and Ostrich Feathers, as well as acting as shipping agents and representatives for Insurance Companies.
Walker & Hall Ltd of Sheffield was the first firm in Britain to use the system of silver plating by electrolysis. This famous firm had a branch in Cape Town which was not doing well. Agreement was reached with Spilhaus to take over the firm together with staff & stock, & a showroom was opened in 1934 in Strand St. This small shop was the beginning of the Spilhaus retail brand of business as it is known today.
Spilhaus traded successfully from one shop in the Cape Town CBD until 1977 when another branch was opened at the new Cavendish Square in Claremont.
In 1978 Spilhaus took a gigantic step when it opened its first branch in Johannesburg, located at the Hyde Park shopping Centre.
Further shops were opened in Johannesburg in the 1980’s although growth was severely curtailed by the very difficult trading conditions which prevailed at that time.
Today Spilhaus have 17 retail shops, 9 of which are Spilhaus Stores and 8 Swarovski standalone stores. The stores are located in the finest Shopping Centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. Spilhaus is renowned for stocking internationally exclusive brands many of which cannot be obtained elsewhere in South Africa.
Spilhaus has been in the luxury retail market for over 70 years. It has become a household name, famous for fine quality and service. Generations of South Africans have purchased their cutlery, crystal stemware & giftware at Spilhaus.
The “Spilhaus” brand name is synonymous with world renowned brands such as Swarovski Silver Crystal and Swarovski Jewellery.
Spilhaus has a long association with many other world famous brands such as Versace, Lladro from Spain, Alessi stainless steel & related products from Italy, Christofle from Paris, Kosta Boda Crystal from Sweden, Waterford Crystal from Ireland and a host of other renowned brands.
Spilhaus is an exciting shopping destination for both the mature and younger generations and offers an eclectic variety of merchandise which caters to all tastes.
Spilhaus is a retail business that would undoubtedly add great value to any Shopping Centre in South Africa. Its shops are on a par with the very best in the Western world.