The specialist stationery, newspaper and book seller has said the six stores in question are ‘loss making’ as a result of exhorbitant leases and will close when those leases expire. It is thought that staff at the stores in question may have the chance to move to other WHSmith stores.
The retailer is also ending a trail of WHSmith Local franchises which operated via independent newsagents and convenience stores, and online trading card gaming business, CardMarket, which operates from 20 stores.
In August WHSmith reported a fall in annual profits from £62million to £60million, although this was offset by a 7% rise in profits to £103 million of its travel outlet stores. The retailer will now focus even more strongly on these travel stores, which are located in train stations, airports, service stations, universities and work places and opened 20 of these types of outlets in the past year, giving a total of 581. It is also expanding its branch in Heathrow Terminal 4.