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WHSmith mum on which stores it plans to close


WHSmith would not reveal which of its six High Street stores faced closure after the group posted its preliminary results on Thursday, October 11.

The company said that it planned to close "around" six stores, "particularly those impacted by onerous leases".

In response to questions on whether the Stamford store would be affected, a spokesman said: “Over the year, WHSmith will be opening more stores than it is closing.

"Across the business we will continue to create jobs, employing more people next year than this year.

"We are not announcing the six stores we have earmarked for closure in today’s statement as they will close at different times as and when their leases expire - the earliest of these will be in 2021.”

As of August, the group had 607 High Street stores.

In a statement, the company said that despite a good performance by these stores, it was not ignoring the challenging conditions being experienced on the High Street.

"As such, we have undertaken a detailed review of our High Street businesses to ensure they remain fit for purpose now and for the future.

"As a result of this review, we have made the following decisions: to increase the focus on our core categories; wind down non core trial initiatives including Cardmarket and WHSmith Local; restructure some operational activities; and close around six High Street stores, particularly those impacted by onerous leases."

The company traces its roots back to 1792 when Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna opened a small news vendor in Little Grosvenor Street, London.

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