Huge high street chain with 1,400 branches to close another location as shoppers worry there 'won't be anything left' | The Sun

A HUGE high street chain with 1,400 branches is set to close another store as shoppers say there "wont be anything left".

WHSmith is set to pull down the shutters on its shop in Alfreton, Derbyshire, in January 2024.

A spokesperson for the retailer told The Derbyshire Times, who first reported the closure: "We are sorry to confirm that our WHSmith store in Alfreton will be closing at the beginning of January 2024.

"We are very disappointed to be losing our presence in the town, however, unfortunately, we are unable to continue to trade viably from this location.

"We would like to thank all our customers for their support and for shopping with us."

The news of the closure has been met with devastation by local residents.

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One said: "Just heard WHSmith is now closing down we all need to shop local, me included. Alfreton is not going to have anything left."

A second said: "There’s hardly any shops now in Alfreton."

Meanwhile, a third added: "Very sad I love it there."

WHSmith has already closed two branches this year, including in Bicester on August 30.

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Its Newcastle-under-Lyme branch shut permanently in March too, the Stoke Sentinel reported.

Meanwhile, the retailer is set to shut its branch in Ramsgate, Kent, at the start of 2024.

In June, WHSmith's boss Carl Cowling said it had no plans to open any more UK high street stores.

Instead, it is focusing its efforts on UK airports and train stations, as well as looking to expanding in the US and Europe, he said.

What other retailers are closing stores?

A number of retailers have been closing stores across the UK in recent months.

Shoppers are increasingly turning to online retail and away from physical branches, putting pressure on small and large businesses.

Meanwhile, stubbornly high inflation since last year has meant consumers' money isn't going as far.

That, combined with high energy and wage costs, has seen a number of chains forced to close stores and cut back on costs.

Iceland, Boots and Costa Coffee have all closed a number of stores between them.

Meanwhile, a number of retailers have gone bust completely too, including Paperchase, Cath Kidston and M&Co.

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It's not all bad news though – Iceland has been opening stores as well, with some under the Iceland Local brand.

Primark, Poundland and B&M have all been opening branches too.

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