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Mail order specialist shuts website and telephone operation, but ebay store continues to sell items

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.”

The

does 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.

31 comments

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solentine [95 posts] 2 years ago
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See also dotbike

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E in the Forum reckons retirement. Odd response to a planned closure though. Perhaps a message saying thanks to their loyal customers over the years would be more expected in that event so maybe more to it...?

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russyparkin [570 posts] 2 years ago
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hmm not suprised, i never bought anything from them as their prices seemed to cheap. oxymoron i know but just seemed like a scam

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monkeychild [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh no!!! They were going to be my LBS when I move in Jan  2

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joebee9870 [73 posts] 2 years ago
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just bought some new Deda handlebars a few weeks ago for £4.95 what a bargain. Real shame.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 2 years ago
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no. they weren't too cheap, sometimes the opposite, shame, good online retailer imo

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evo111 [20 posts] 2 years ago
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I have used Parker International many times over the past 15 years and found them to be most excellent in terms of service / advice and delivery. I too noticed the blue web site screen recently.

Lets hope if it was not a planned closure then the business can be brought back and trading continue…  41

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TheDoctor [199 posts] 2 years ago
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Used them a lot, always great service, a real shame they have closed!

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JonD [420 posts] 2 years ago
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According to :
http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12952016&p=18659498

it's due to retirement, currently looking for a buyer - and the ebay show's still going.

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monty dog [460 posts] 2 years ago
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I remember visiting the original shop in Newport and would regularly stop in Sherriffhales during frequent jaunts up the M6.

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Flying Scot [921 posts] 2 years ago
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Mr Parker, if its due to retirement, have a good one.

Condolences if its not.....

Was a great shop, stocked a lot of proper high end stuff.

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IHphoto [117 posts] 2 years ago
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"arrieredupeleton [488 posts]
hmm not suprised, i never bought anything from them as their prices seemed to cheap. oxymoron i know but just seemed like a scam"

What a defamatory and ill-informed statement! I bought loads of stuff from them over the last 5 years: they were as far from being a scam as you can get. They always answered the phone in person.

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Simon E [2851 posts] 2 years ago
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arrieredupeleton wrote:

Simon E in the Forum reckons retirement. Odd response to a planned closure though. Perhaps a message saying thanks to their loyal customers over the years would be more expected in that event so maybe more to it...?

No "reckoning" involved, it's what two or three reliable sources in the area (who know Mr Parker personally) have informed me is the reason. But this is the internet so you're welcome to ignore it and make something up.

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Will Steed [48 posts] 2 years ago
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Brought several bits from them and always good service and cheap. Sad if they have closed. Less competition for Evans and Wiggle means price hikes for us the customer.

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S13SFC [136 posts] 2 years ago
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I have, in the last hour, just returned a jersey and baselayer that were too big that I'd bought off ebay last week.

Their emails to me were their usual polite selves.

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Sherlock Ohms [15 posts] 2 years ago
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How odd - I bought stuff from them in the past, and went to school in Newport in the 90's and had no idea they started out there ...

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fret [37 posts] 2 years ago
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Used them a couple of times. Plenty of bargains amongst the often pricier items.
Service was always good though

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sponican [93 posts] 2 years ago
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russyparkin wrote:

hmm not suprised, i never bought anything from them as their prices seemed to cheap. oxymoron i know but just seemed like a scam

What a pity. Sounds like you ended up paying more - probably for worse service. I used Parker loads and I'll miss them. They carried a more interesting range of stuff than wiggle/crc etc and at better prices.

I ordered a pair of Mavic wheels from them once. The guy on the phone asked me if I'd like next day or standard (free) delivery. I said standard was fine. The wheels arrived later on the same day! Order placed at 0900, goods at my door at 1600. I presume the extra charge for next day delivery was actually a storage fee.

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Chris James [417 posts] 2 years ago
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russyparkin wrote:

hmm not suprised, i never bought anything from them as their prices seemed to cheap. oxymoron i know but just seemed like a scam

I have bought from them and their service and delivery was excellent. I would definitely have bought from them again.

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Ad Hynkel [130 posts] 2 years ago
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Were good for me when I used them.

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Roberj4 [221 posts] 2 years ago
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Excellent service over the phone and online from Parker International but the Internet is crowded. My purchasing went back to the late 80's & 90's and before the Internet arrival Parker and Deeside Cycles were the 'big boys' mail order from the back of 'The Comic' (cycling weekly) with a phone call. I still order bits and pieces over the years. Hope they have a happy retirement and someone picks up the business.

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Pub bike [174 posts] 2 years ago
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Having “international” in the name sounds cheesy and a scam. This isn’t helped by their low profile on the ‘net: It is difficult to find any reviews about them, positive or otherwise. As such I considered using them a number of times but didn't. In the end I thought I’d give them a try and found them to be excellent, and used them quite a few times. Shame they are closing down. Didn’t use them enough then  2

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Recumbenteer [168 posts] 2 years ago
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Always a good service, good prices too..

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Pity to see them go. I have bought from them and other small suppliers. I only occasionally buy from the biggies as I prefer to support the independents.

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matthewn5 [842 posts] 2 years ago
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I often bought things from them. Hard to find small parts for shifters and the like. Excellent service. The person saying they were a 'scam' admits never buying from Parkers. Very sorry to see them go, happy retirement!

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TiNuts [98 posts] 2 years ago
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I bought a number of things from them. They struck me as being a solid, belt-and-braces on-line uk retailer, much like Ribble, but perhaps without quite the latter's online clout or marketing nouse. It's a shame to see them go. Cue The Spinners "It's A Shame"

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CanAmSteve [253 posts] 2 years ago
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Always excellent service. Sorry to see them go - I assume eBay is for clearing remaining stock.

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alwolf [1 post] 2 years ago
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Def not a scam company, rode out with Jack Parker many times in the 80,s 90,s just a family run business, started in a small shop then expanded to mail order

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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IHphoto wrote:

"arrieredupeleton [488 posts]
hmm not suprised, i never bought anything from them as their prices seemed to cheap. oxymoron i know but just seemed like a scam"

What a defamatory and ill-informed statement! I bought loads of stuff from them over the last 5 years: they were as far from being a scam as you can get. They always answered the phone in person.

Oi. That wasn't me! It was russyparkin.

I demand an immediate retraction or you shall be hearing from my legal team  3

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E wrote:
arrieredupeleton wrote:

Simon E in the Forum reckons retirement. Odd response to a planned closure though. Perhaps a message saying thanks to their loyal customers over the years would be more expected in that event so maybe more to it...?

No "reckoning" involved, it's what two or three reliable sources in the area (who know Mr Parker personally) have informed me is the reason. But this is the internet so you're welcome to ignore it and make something up.

Can you explain what I have made up Simon?

It was nothing more than a comment that I would have expected something more than the 'blue screen of death' which suggests an abrupt end to things rather than a planned one. Maybe it says more about their IT people that the business itself.

I was giving you credit for bringing this info to the forum first but never mind. This is the internet as you say.

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