Bury St Edmunds-based distributor, Akro Catering Equipment, is to shut. The dealer will be moving out of its premises on 24 February and is in the process of closing down active accounts.
Director, Claire Batt, told Catering Insight in a statement that: “After 15 years of being in the catering equipment industry we have decided to close the doors.
“Due to a very competitive market we have decided to call it a day and pursue other ventures.”
Fellow director, Kelvin Phillips, said to Catering Insight that the company could have continued but that: “Online dealers are squeezing margins so much we just didn’t want to carry on trading. Customer service has gone out of the window.”
While he felt that Akro had “a good innings”, he wasn’t sure whether he and Batt would remain in the industry, and will take some time out to reflect on their next steps.
Batt added: “We would like to thank the suppliers for their continued support over the years and wish everyone the very best in this field.”
Akro has sold catering equipment and supplies and janitorial products since being founded by Batt and Phillips. Last year Phillips completed his Gas Safe accreditation so that the dealer could bring its installation and service work in-house.
This is the latest in a spate of dealer closures in the East Anglian region, following Broadland Catering Equipment ceasing trading in December and Catershop folding last June – both being Norwich-based.
However, Catershop’s founder, Richard Todd, has now established a new dealership called Elite Foodservice Design in nearby Lowestoft.