Housewares retailer ProCook has revealed that it is ‘paving the way to a bright future’ following its recent acquisition of rival chain Steamer Trading, ‘with around 21 leases near completion and a new look for stores benefitting from hundreds of new product lines’.
Steamer Trading was saved from administration in January by ProCook owner Daniel O’Neill. ProCook bought 27 of Steamer Trading’s 38 stores, along with the ecommerce business and head office team.
The 27 Steamer Trading stores that ProCook acquired were Bath (trading as Kitchens), Beverley, Bishop’s Stortford, Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol (trading as Kitchens), Bury St Edmunds, Cardiff (trading as Kitchens), Chester, Chichester, Cirencester, Dorchester, Eastbourne, Guildford, Harrogate, Hereford, Horsham, Lewes, Lymington, Northallerton, Saffron Walden, Southampton, St Albans, Stamford, Thame, Truro and Witney
Ten underperforming Steamer Trading stores which were not part of the sale closed on January 9, resulting in 79 job losses. Those branches were in Battle, Heathfield, Westerham, Dorking, Bluewater, Taunton, Wells, Cambridge, Glasgow and Bournemouth.
A further store in Knightsbridge and its accompanying cookery school (trading under the Divertimenti brand), was acquired by Steamer Trading founder Ben Phillips. Both deals, the value of which has not been disclosed, resulted in 332 jobs being secured.
Daniel said: “We’ve been working tirelessly since the purchase of Steamer Trading back in January to establish new relationships with suppliers and landlords, and we’re close to securing leases on 21 stores.
“Unfortunately, due to a tough economic climate and unworkable property costs, we will be closing six Steamer Trading stores at the end of April. This necessary decision will enable us to concentrate our resources into the remaining stores and website, and continue delivering on our ambition to grow both the Steamer Trading and ProCook brands.”
The Steamer Trading stores set to close are Guildford, Brentwood, Cardiff (trading as Kitchens), Hereford, Stamford and Witney. For staff affected by the closures, ProCook will be seeking to offer vacancies in other Steamer Trading and ProCook stores where possible.
ProCook was founded in 1995 and supplies housewares with savings of up to 50% compared with other brands, by producing and delivering products direct to the customer with no middleman. Headquartered in Gloucestershire, the retailer operates 37 stores in the UK, along with an ecommerce business, and trades in 29 international territories. It designs and manufactures around 1,200 exclusive products that span cookware, kitchen accessories and tableware.
ProCook said: ‘In 2019 we welcomed the Steamer Trading and Kitchens brands to our portfolio. The three brands have shared values around passion for homewares, deep product knowledge and excellence in customer service. In addition to carrying ProCook own-brand products, Steamer Trading and Kitchens stores carry a wide range of products from iconic kitchenware brands, offering customers huge choice and advice in the kitchenware and cooking space.”
There are currently 37 ProCook stores and 27 Steamer Trading stores – but there will be 21 Steamer Trading branches following the closures in April. Pictured is the Harrogate branch of Steamer Trading, which is not affected by the closures