Robert Dyas began his self-named business in 1872, opening a store in London with only £5. Selling houseware, garden products and eventually electronics, the business is still incredibly successful in the Southern half of the UK. However, it wasn't always plain sailing for Robert Dyas. Having traded in London throughout WWII, the head office and several stores received severe damage from German bombers during the blitz, but emerged and rebuilt the premises. However, it failed to survive the financial crisis in 2008 and could not pay it's £30m debts in 2009. The business is now owned by famous entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, with 96 stores and 1300 employees, turning over £114 million a year.