Multichannel housewares chain ProCook has reported strong sales growth for the first half of 2018/19. The brand said sales figures

Steamer Trading closes Canterbury store

The Canterbury branch of Steamer Trading Cookshop shut its doors permanently in mid-October. Ben Phillips, founder of the specialist chain, said the 2,700sq ft branch in the Kent town was originally scheduled to close when the lease ended in August, but a temporary agreement with the landlord was expected to see the store trade over Christmas. He explained: “We had expected to be there until Christmas, but the landlord wants to do work to the building before winter sets in, so we’re going sooner than we initially expected. It will be a coffee shop when it reopens in February.”

Ben added: “While it’s a lovely Tudor building in a tourist destination, the heavy shopping in Canterbury is done elsewhere now. Whitefriars was built after we opened and has obviously grown since.” Whitefriars Shopping Centre in Canterbury is the biggest shopping centre in East Kent. Steamer Trading Cookshop operates 39 stores nationwide.

KitchenAid gets set for centenary

KitchenAid will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, and in preparation, the small appliance manufacturer has introduced a limited edition product. The company has added a Misty Blue model

to its Heritage Artisan Series of stand mixers. The exclusive design features a heritage-inspired KitchenAid logo and a custom Culinary Hub cover, honouring 100 years of KitchenAid. KitchenAid UK & Ireland SDA marketing manager Helen Simpson said: “Misty Blue brings back a classic style that will spark nostalgia across generations, while also continuing to feed inspiration in the kitchen. This launch not only commemorates the brand’s past but also celebrates all the passionate home cooks who have inspired our innovation for the last 100 years.” The mixer comes with attachments including a flex edge beater, flat beater, dough hook and wire whip, while the Culinary Hub has 15 optional accessories.

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were up 25% on the previous year and up 16% like-for-like. With bricks-and-mortar retail sales remaining stable on last year, the retailer attributed the performance to its ecommerce activity.

Sales on both ProCook’s own

website and Amazon marketplaces surged 45% on 2017/18. ProCook now sells to seven European countries, with ‘very strong growth’ in France and Germany. ProCook ceo Steve Sanders said:

“Retail remains challenging but increasingly exciting for


ProCook posts strong half-year sales

multichannel offerings such as ours. We have moved forward significantly within ecommerce, with much more to achieve in the remaining six months of 2018/19. The first six months of this year have been hard work, and there’s no sign of letting up in the run-up to peak. But we’re not complaining; it’s a great position to be in.” ProCook has opened eight shops across the UK this year. The two latest launches – and the last of the year – were at Dockside Outlet Centre in the Kent town of Chatham (pictured) and Woodford Park Garden Centre at Stockport in Greater Manchester. The branches, which both measure about

1,700sq ft, opened on October 19 and October 25 respectively. Steve said: “We’re growing

ProCook from the ground up and we believe retail stores are vital to that process. Retail brings in a huge proportion of sales for us and offers significant support to our ecommerce channels.”

TK Maxx wraps up deal with British gift industry

TK Maxx has finalised a deal to introduce more independent British gifts to its stores. The retailer has collaborated with the Giftware Association (GA) and The Great British Exchange to provide a platform for home, food and drink products from British producers. Based in Harrogate, The Great

British Exchange is a members- only B2B marketplace for trade buyers of British-made products. Keir Hayter, national account manager of The Great British Exchange, said: “This initiative is designed to promote some of the most exciting British brands

and offer TK Maxx customers something that is really new and different. We have enjoyed working with the buyers to provide the support needed to turn this project around within just a few months.” GA ceo Sarah Ward commented: “We’re delighted that a major retailer like TK Maxx has recognised the potential in the UK giftware market and we’re grateful to The Great British Exchange for their support with sourcing, logistics and bringing everything together within such a tight timeframe. The range and

quality of British giftware that has been considered and selected during this process proves just how much talent exists amongst our members.” TK Maxx is a leading European

homeware and fashion retailer selling products at up to 60% less than RRP. It launched in the UK in 1994 and now has over 300 stores across the country.

BHETA export drive rolls into Romania

The latest initiative by BHETA (British Home


Trade Association) to address the export ambitions of its members is a trade mission to Bucharest in Romania. The visit, which takes place

from November 25 to November 27, is being organised in partnership with the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce, which is providing a packed schedule of events. BHETA said: ‘With a population

of 20 million and a home improvement market worth an estimated Euro 2-3 billion per year, Romania has seen developing trends in both housewares and gardening.’ The mission will bring together

buyers, distributors and market experts from Romania’s major home improvement, housewares/utility and garden retailers, including store visits and one-to-one buyer meetings. BHETA members wishing to

take part can register by contacting Madalina Ciinaru at the British Romanian Chamber of

Commerce on It is also essential to advise BHETA of registration by contacting Nicola on BHETA housewares sector

director Will Jones said: “Export can seem daunting for companies not already involved, so it’s great that BHETA can now offer really practical support, alongside the experience of existing exporters amongst the membership who are willing to share knowledge and best practice.”

October/November 2018

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