Cook shop in Epsom's The Ashley Centre to close
The Cook shop in Epsom is closing down this month after the company decided it was not a sufficiently profitable location.
The company, which produces high-quality ready meals, will be closing its branch in the Ashley Centre on Saturday, August 25, just months after Waterstones shut there to the dismay of residents.
But Edward Perry, Cook’s founder, denied rumours that it was due to a proposed rent hike.
He said the shop’s 10-year lease had come to an end and that it decided some time ago not to renew it as there are "more profitable locations" for the shop to trade.
He said: "Epsom was one of our first shops and our customers have been incredibly loyal to us over the years so it is with obvious sadness that we have had decided to close the shop now our lease is at its end.
"We hope customers will come and see us at our Banstead, Dorking or Weybridge stores and as a little thank you to Epsom customers, we're offering 20 per cent off until we close.
"Unfortunately, five full- and part-time jobs will be lost, although we're also hiring for new shops we're opening in other areas."
Asked if Cook had plans to move to another location in Epsom, he said: "We are looking at various opportunities but haven’t found anything suitable yet."
David Beddows, general manager of The Ashley Centre, confirmed Cook decided 18 months not to continue its lease and therefore "negotiations were not entered into and rent not discussed".
He said: "We are very sad to see Cook go but, during their time at The Ashley Centre, their business has grown and they continue to develop in many different ways.
"The Ashley Centre is looking forward to the new 10,000sq ft flagship H&M store opening in August, and the H&M Kids store shortly after.
"New Look will be launching their re-fitted store in August and we continue to have discussions to bring new retailers to Epsom, so there are exciting developments afoot at The Ashley Centre."