WHSmith to close beloved store for good leaving ‘hardly any shops’ for locals


The retailer has been a pillar on British high streets since 1972, selling a range of best-selling books, newspapers and stationery.

While WHSmith has expanded its presence in UK airports, railway stations and motorway services, the retail giant has closed a string of stores.

Shoppers in Sale, Cheshire are the latest to lose their local branch after the company confirmed the closure of its Stanley Square store.

Its iconic blue and white shop-front will be ripped out later this year in a crushing blow to locals who described the retail prospects in the area to be “dying at a rapid rate”.

Taking to the Life in Sale Facebook page, WHSmith fans expressed their devastation.

One person commented: “How long before one of the supermarkets pull out of Sale? Sale centre is dying at a rapid rate.”

Another person commented: “End of an era, it’s been there a long time, hardly any shops now, no point in going to Sale really, I’m almost sure it will be another cafe or restaurant.”

According to Google Maps, the closest alternative branch is located at the Trafford Shopping Centre, Manchester – a 16-minute drive away.

For those without the luxury of a car, it’s a one hour and 29 minute walk, or 38 minutes by public transport.

It’s not the first store WHSmith has axed this year, with several others having closed already, including the high street branch in Slough, Berkshire.

This doesn’t mean that the business is at risk, as a spokesperson confirmed. They said: “We can confirm that the WHSmith store in Sale will be closing on Saturday, September 14 owing to the landlord’s redevelopment plans.

“We are disappointed to be losing our presence in Sale and we would like to thank all our customers for their support and for shopping with us.”

The spokesperson added that the brand is extremely grateful for the commitment of its in-store colleagues and reassured that they would be supported and redeployed to nearby stores, where possible.

According to local newspaper Messenger, the Cheshire retail site will welcome a brand new cinema in place of WHSmith.

A cinema called The Northern Light will take its place. Manero Cinemas, the independent cinema chain behind The Northern Light, said it is the sixth site in a portfolio including other sites in the North West such as The Rex in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and The Savoy in Heaton Moor, Stockport.

The local publication reported that Tony Mundin, the managing director of Manero Cinemas, said: “We are thrilled to bring an affordable, luxury experience to Sale for everyone to enjoy a trip to the cinema. We will prioritise comfort to ensure everyone has a great time.”

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