Mail order specialist Parker International has closed.
Customers visiting the company website this morning found a blue screen of death containing just the company logo and the message:
This web site is no longer available. For help or advice please contact us. Email: sales [at] parker-international.co.uk.
The company phone line led to a similar message and an email solicited the straightforward reply: “Yes I’m afraid we have now closed.”
Thedoes still appear to be open for business with 111 items listed when we checked earlier - someone had just bagged themselves a set of Deda Cronoaero Bullhorn TT bars for £4.95 plus postage, there's another set of the same bars listed amongst a range of tools. tyres, accesores and components. Whether any new items will be listed after the these are sold remains to be seen - the newest items in the store went live as recently as lunchtime today with the auctions slated to end in three days time.
A family business, Parker International was set up in 1985 by Jack Parker and run by Jack, his wife Enid Parker and their daughter Angie Lukehurst.
The business started out in a small shop in Newport Shropshire, but the Parkers soon realised there was a big opportunity in mail order.
They moved to larger premises in the village of Sheriffhales, between Telford and Newport and stayed there for over 20 years. In 2011 they took on a modern warehouse in Hortonwood on the outskirts of Telford.
As recently as last Tuesday, Parker was still sending out a weekly newsletter.
After confirming that the company had closed down, Parker International has not responded to requests for further details.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.