Colston-Ariston was founded by ex-Hoover director Sir Charles Colston, and made compact dishwashers, and concluded a deal to distribute Prestcold refrigerators. As sales began to slow, he cut prices and introduced ‘double offers’ such as washing machine and fridge packages, free weekend breaks and even his own trading stamps. The company collapsed in 1964 with massive debts. Liquidators found thousands of unsold washing machines in warehouses.

Many of the company's problems were due to conventional retailers slashing prices, a postal strike that dried up their supplies of coupons which was their only source of obtaining customers, and arguably, market saturation.

Production of the machines was continued by Tallent, but that company was taken over by Ariston in the late 1970s, which then became Colston-Ariston.