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Comments on ProCook’s acquisition of Steamer Trading

ProCook announced its purchase of Steamer Trading yesterday afternoon (January 9), taking on 27 of the chain’s stores (including Kitchens), its e-commerce business and the head office team. Steamer Trading Cookshop and Kitchens will keep their brand identities.

Above: ProCook’s Daniel O’Neill.
Above: ProCook’s Daniel O’Neill.

Daniel O’Neill, owner of ProCook stated: “We are delighted to announce this news and see it as a fantastic opportunity for Steamer Trading and ProCook to grow both brands. Our focus will continue to be on providing excellent value for money, great service and innovative high-quality homewares.”

He added, “We are very excited about the future, though because of high rent and rates and the current retail climate we had to make the decision not to take on all the stores. However, we will endeavour to fill all vacancies across our stores by transferring people from closing stores.”

Clare Burgess, previously trading director of Steamer Trading, will now head up the Steamer Trading Cookshop brand. She commented: “While I am sad to say goodbye to some colleagues, I’m excited about the future for Steamer Trading. The new Steamer trading stores will be offering an exciting shopping experience with a great mix of exclusive products alongside iconic kitchen and homeware brands.”

KPMG’s Steve Absolom and Will Wright were appointed as joint administrators for Steamer Trading yesterday (January 9) as part of the sales process. Nick Holloway, director at KPMG UK, who led the sale, commented: “We are delighted that we have been able to rescue such a long established business including a high proportion of stores and preserve a large number of jobs, especially given the current economic pressures faced by retailers across the UK.”

Ten stores are due to shut, including Steamer Trading’s Glasgow branch. Stock from the stores that are closing will be transferred to the remaining shops.

Above: Ben Phillips will be “back on the shop floor” following his purchase of Divertimenti.
Above: Ben Phillips will be “back on the shop floor” following his purchase of Divertimenti.

Meanwhile, Ben Phillips, hitherto creative director of Steamer Trading, has acquired Divertimenti in Knightsbridge.

Ben stated, “We have been searching for solutions” for the business in an “incredibly difficult market”, experiencing a “tough” Christmas. He told HousewaresNews: “I’m very pleased to find a new home for the Steamer Trading business.” Ben also acknowledged the retail acumen of ProCook’s Daniel O’Neil, who has “done a great job of turning around the ProCook business.”

KPMG administrators are formally contacting those Steamer Trading’s suppliers that have not received payment. Ben told HousewaresNews that, as Steamer Trading’s borrowing had been paid off, and with some freehold property left: “there will be some value left.” He continued: “It will take time and there will be costs involved but hopefully, under the circumstances, it will be a reasonable outcome for creditors.”

Looking forward to getting back to the shop floor following his purchase of Divertimenti, Ben said: “I have good plans to grow and develop the brand. It’s a very different business with the cookery school.”


Top: Steamer Trading’s Horsham store.


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