THE Steamer Trading Cookshop in a prime town centre location in Taunton has suddenly closed.

The windows of the shop in North Street have been blanked out with brown paper.

A notice advises customers: "This store has ceased trading. Your nearest store is Bristol and Bath. Thank you."

Some staff could transfer to other Steamer Trading stores, but it is unknown how many job losses there are.

Another Somerset store, in Wells, has also closed.

The Taunton outlet is one of ten Steamer Trading stores closed this week after the company was saved from administration in a buy out by Gloucestershire-based ProCook.

The acquisition includes 27 stores, the online business and the head office staff.

The Taunton store ran a number of attractive discounts in the run up to Christmas, but it was not enough to save it from closure.

Daniel O’Neill, owner of ProCook, said: "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.

"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 lead the Steamer Trading Cookshop brand.

She said: "While I’m 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."

The other Steamer Trading stores that have closed are in Battle, Heathfield, Westerham, Dorking, Bluewater, Cambridge, Glasgow and Bournemouth.

The closures are the latest in the deepening high street crisis that has seen a number of high profile traders go to the wall.