Eastbourne store survives closure plan

Eastbourne’s Steamer Trading Cookshop has survived a cull after it went into administration last week blaming high rents and the current economic climate

The retailer was bought out of administration by rival kitchenware retailer ProCook in a deal which includes the acquisition of 27 Steamer Trading stores – including the Cornfield Road branch- the ecommerce business and the head office team.

Officials say 330 jobs have been saved as a result of the acquisition deals. However, 80 jobs will still be cut after the remaining 10 shops in Steamer Trading’s 38-store estate are shut down including the ones in Heathfield and Battle.

The Alfriston store, where Steamer Trading was originally founded by Liz and David Phillips in 1985, closed some time ago.

KPMG was appointed administrator and UK director Nick Holloway said, “We are delighted 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.

KPMG said employees affected by redundancy would “receive the information and guidance they need in order to claim monies owed”.

Clare Burgess, who was previously Steamer Trading trading director, will now head up the retailer under its new owner.

“While I am sad to say goodbye to some colleagues, I’m excited about the future for Steamer Trading,” she said.

“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.”