A two-strong cookshop business on the south coast is preparing to shut the doors on its original store and consolidate operations at its second branch. Its ecommerce arm www.goodcookshop.com will remain trading.
The Good Cook Shop was founded by owners Lynn and David Goodenough in 2002 when they opened a shop at 17 Marmion Road in the seaside resort of Southsea, at the southern tip of Portsmouth in Hampshire. In 2007 it was joined by a second shop at 27 Warwick Street in Worthing, which is also on the south coast, in West Sussex.
The Southsea shop’s last trading date is July 9, after which the couple will consolidate operations to their Worthing branch.
Following an online petition to save the Southsea outlet, following claims that the landlord of the business planned to increase their rent substantially, Lynn & David have explained their decision.
“We have enjoyed our 14 years in Marmion Road, and will miss being there,” they said. “While it is true that our current lease has ended and our landlord has proposed a significant increase in rent, that is only part of the story.
“First we should say that we have always had an excellent relationship with our landlord. She has had the premises valued by a property agent and she is merely asking for what they believe is the market rate, and we don’t hold that against her in the least.
“The fact is that our sort of independent retail is under threat. Retail has changed, and continues to change at an ever-increasing rate, and we are now facing competition on an unprecedented scale.
“Everyone loves the range, customer service and expertise that we offer, but nowadays that isn’t enough. From the outset we have met this challenge head on, but like a child reinforcing a sandcastle against the rising tide and we are finding ourselves working ever harder just to stay still.
“Add to that our family life, or lack of. Our children, now eight and six respectively, are yet to experience a family Christmas longer than two consecutive days, and are often farmed out to relatives for days at a time so we can work, and those are days we will never get back.
“Against this background, the proposed rent increase was the clincher. Really, this has come at a good time. Sad though it is for us, losing the Southsea shop means we can concentrate on our Worthing shop and website and, hopefully redress some of that work/life balance to boot.
“We would rather not be in this position, but we are not bitter. Nothing lasts for ever and our only huge regret is having to let our wonderful staff go. Once again we would like to thank them for all they have done for us over the years.
“Our last day in Southsea will be July 9 and we will be having a pretty spectacular sale in the lead up to then.”