North-east specialist cookshop Cooks & Kitchens of Darlington is closing its doors on December 23 – but its ecommerce website lives on.
The award-winning housewares business was opened by Andy and Mary Atkins in May 2002, at premises in the County Durham market town’s Grange Road.
Explaining their decision to shut the shop, the couple said: “It is with great regret that we announce the closure of our Darlington store. After nearly 14 years of highs and lows, Cooks & Kitchens has become part of the fabric of Grange Road’s shopping experience and we understand the disappointment that this announcement will bring for the customers who have stayed loyal throughout those years.
“It’s an unfortunate fact of life that trading as a specialist independent has become increasingly difficult in recent years, and the twin impacts of online shopping and poor trading conditions in Darlington have led us to the conclusion that it would not be sensible for us renew our lease in January.
“The slight irony is that, as early entrants to the world of online trading, it has been our online success that has allowed the store to continue trading in the past couple of years. We will now be concentrating our efforts on developing our online business (http://www.cooksandkitchens.co.uk/) further, as well as attending a number of shows and events throughout the year.
“We would like to thank the members of staff who have helped us along the way, some of them for years, and wish our current staff members well as they look for new employment.
Most of all, we’d like to thank the customers who shared in our commitment to good food and well-designed housewares (you know who you are) and who encouraged us to keep pushing to offer the best – a belief that led Cooks & Kitchens to five national awards in 10 years.”