HAMPSHIRE is to lose another two prominent shops with the news that the kitchenware chain Steamer Trading is to disappear.

Steamer Trading branches at Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton and in Lymington High Street are among eight which are set to shut.

Another 13 will continue but will be rebranded as branches of ProCook, the competitor which bought the chain out of administration in January.

Thirty-four staff are set to be affected by the closures, which also involve shutting Steamer Trading’s head office in Brighton.

Peter Leyland-Jones, president of Lymington and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “It offered a different type of business within Lymington and it would be a great shame to see it go because of the variety it’s given to the town, and in a prominent part of Lymington, but shops do come and go.

“It will take a little bit of time but it will be replaced with something special.”

A spokesperson for Westquay, said: "We’re always looking for exciting new brands and while Steamer Trading is closing, we look forward to welcoming an exciting new offer to the unit. In the meantime, we have a huge range of homeware options at Westquay including the likes of Cath Kidston, John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer.”

Ten ‘underperforming’ stores closed before ProCook took over Steamer Trading, including the branch in Bournemouth. Another six shut at the end of April.

The decision to close eight more and rebrand the rest marks the end of the Steamer Trading brand.

ProCook owner Daniel O’Neill said: “After almost six months of trying to get the Steamer Trading model to work and a significant amount of investment, we have we have been forced draw the brand to a close. We have concluded that our best route to success is to utilise the most profitable sites in expansion plans for ProCook.

“This will enable ProCook to maintain a high street presence and will save jobs that would otherwise be lost.

“It’s a sad day for the Steamer Trading brand, but even with our best efforts the model is not viable and therefore we’re forced to close a few stores.”

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