Owners Bruce and Claire-Louise Crane said the closure of the award-winning housewares specialist on Red Lion Street in Norwich will coincide with the launch of their new online venture, which will trade under the name of The Knife Expert.
The business will specialise in selling knives and knife-related accessories and offer a national knife sharpening and repair service. The side of Loose’s Cookshop has grown significantly over the past few years, Bruce said, with many well-known knife brands (including Global, Wusthof, Henckels and Robert Welch) recommending him to customers for much of their non-warranty sharpening and repair work nationally.
Bruce added: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our time running Loose’s Cookshop but have decided it’s time to move on. This was not an easy decision to make, and one we have been considering for the last three years. However, the high street is changing rapidly, and our departure and move into online retailing is our response to what we see coming over the next five to 10 years.
“I’m not one of those pessimists who believe the high street is dying, However, it’s certainly true that the high street is moving away from products and into service-orientated businesses – which is why we’re seeing more coffee shops, restaurants, hairdressers and nail bars appearing in units previously operated by small companies like Loose’s –and these new arrivals are not selling products you put in a bag at the till point.”
He continued: “Claire-Louise and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful team, who have been (and still are) fantastic. We include everyone who has worked for us at any point over the past 20 years in this because without their help and support, Loose’s Cookshop could not have become the well-loved shop that it is today.
“We would also like to thank our many suppliers – over 150 of them – who, over the last 20 years (or more in some cases) have become more like old friends rather trading partners. We will of course continue to work with our many knife suppliers, and look forward to their continued support in our new venture.”
Bruce and Claire-Louise noted that in the future they will be looking “a number of other business opportunities” outside high street retailing, which they plan to run alongside The Knife Expert,