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ProCook boss attacks 'extortionate' business rates as he closes stores

Published: 28 January 2009
Kitchenware company ProCook has been forced to close 18 stores across the country.
ProCook boss attacks 'extortionate' business rates as he closes stores
The firm will now focus on internet sales, business to business sales and its chain of factory outlet stores.

Daniel O'Neill, ProCook managing director said: "Due principally to the ever increasing business rates, and although we have experienced great flexibility and understanding of many landlords, we have taken a Group wide decision to close our high street stores.

"The singling out of retail tenants in particular for punitive and escalating business rates in most parts of the country pre-dated the economic crisis."

Mr O'Neill went onto say in 2003 business rates were 8.8% as a proportion of sales, while 2009 is forecast to be 18.8%.

He added: "It is these cost pressures that have made high street retailing difficult and in many cases impossible in conjunction with the present economic downturn."

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