// ProCook announces closure of Steamer Trading fascia 5 months after it rescued it from collapse
// ProCook to move into 13 of the 21 Steamer Trading stores and close down the remaining 8
// ProCook had bought Steamer Trading out of administration in January this year
ProCook has announced the closure of the Steamer Trading, the competing kitchenwares retailer it acquired in January this year.
ProCook had acquired Steamer Trading out of administration for an undisclosed sum on January 10 but after efforts to revive it, it decided to close down the business.
ProCook said it would now take over and rebrand 13 stores currently trading as Steamer Trading and staff at these stores will be become part of the ProCook family.
Meanwhile, the remaining eight Steamer Trading stores as well as its head office in Brighton are set to shut down.
A spokesperson from ProCook told Retail Gazette that as a result of the closures, 34 staff members will be affected.
ProCook’s high street expansion will roll out in the next few weeks and will take the total number of ProCook locations across the UK to 50, broadening the scope of their reach from out-of-town outlets and a global ecommerce site to town centre locations.
“After almost six months of trying to get the Steamer Trading model to work and a significant amount of investment we have we have been forced draw the brand to a close,” ProCook owner Daniel O’Neill said.
“We have concluded that our best route to success is to utilise the most profitable sites in expansion plans for ProCook.
“This will enable ProCook to maintain a high street presence and will save jobs that would otherwise be lost.
“It’s a sad day for the Steamer Trading brand, but even with our best efforts the model is not viable and therefore we’re forced to close a few stores.”
ProCook chief executive Stephen Sanders said: “Given the current economic pressures faced by retailers on the high street we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, and the difficult decision we’ve come to will enable us to protect the rest of our portfolio.
“We are pleased that by transferring 13 stores to the ProCook brand we’ll be able to preserve a significant number of jobs and will be offering full support to those whose roles are affected.”
When Steamer Trading was acquired by ProCook in January in a pre-pack administration deal, 332 jobs were saved while 80 others were made redundant.
The 332 staff members worked across 21 Steamer Trading stores, the ecommerce business and the head office team.
The eight Steamer Trading stores that are now due to close are:
• Saffron Walden
• St Albans
Meanwhile, new ProCook stores will soon open at the following Steamer Trading sites:
• Bishop’s Stortford
• Bury St Edmunds