Cookshop chain Steamer Trading is taking over the two Marchants Cookware outlets - a move which will take Steamer into two counties where it currently has no presence.
The deal, which will go through on June 30, will see Steamer acquire the business assets and goodwill of Marchants Cookware Emporium in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and Marchants Cookware in Saffron Walden, Essex.
The acquisition of the two shops will bring the total number of Steamer Trading outlets to 20. The retailer currently trades in East and West Sussex, Dorset, Kent, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire.
Marchants managing director Paul Marchant said he had been considering a change of direction for some time. "So this development will enable me to consider my future career, which I very much hope will continue to be in, or be associated with the housewares industry.
"I feel absolutely confident that Steamer will be able to build on our success in Bury St Edmunds and Saffron Walden and that our wonderful staff will be able to continue to grow and develop professionally within the Steamer Trading group.'
Meanwhile, Ben Phillips, Steamer Trading's managing director, added: "I have tremendous respect for what Paul and his team have achieved over many years in the cookware industry, and there's no doubt that both of his shops enjoy a strong, loyal following in their towns.
"Paul and I share a very similar philosophy on retailing and customer service that convinced me that the fit will be an excellent one. The opportunity for Steamer Trading to grow in this part of England was too good to miss and I'm looking forward to taking Marchants forward."
The Hahn Trading Company, of which Paul Marchant is a director, is unaffected by the change.
Steamer Trading recently scooped the Emerging Retailer of the Year award at the national Retail Week 2009 Awards.