Tuesday, January 5, 2016

News: Chapter set to close on WH Smith in Rotherham

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Having closed its branch at Parkgate Shopping last year, national retailer, WH Smith looks set to close its store in Rotherham town centre.

WH Smith PLC is one of the UK's leading retailers and the High Street side of the business operates 615 stores selling a range of stationery, books, magazines and gifts in almost all of the UK's most significant high streets.

It now appears that Rotherham will be without the retailer as plans have been submitted for replacement signage at the prominent unit on College Street.

Fashion retailer H&M moved quickly to take over the Parkgate unit and now plans show that the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is looking to take on 37 / 39 College Street for a retail operation.

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WH Smith posted trading profits of £59m (up from £58m in 2014) for the High Street side of the business for the year ending August 31 2015. It closed ten stores during that financial year and the directors said that it "in High Street, we continue to manage the business tightly and our profit focused strategy continues to deliver sustainable growth."

An additional £10m of cost savings was identified making a total target of £20m over the next three years, of which £11m are planned for 2015/16. The £11m comes from rent savings at lease renewal, the store operating model, renegotiated marketing contracts and productivity improvements in distribution centres.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation's heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. It already operates two smaller stores in Rotherham town centre.

Over 60,000 tonnes of unwanted books, clothes and furniture were donated to BHF shops last year, helping them to raise £29.3m.

With 170 furniture and electrical stores nationwide and an ambitious opening schedule of 20-25 new stores per year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the biggest and most successful charity retailer in the UK.

The charity is planning a 6,000 sq ft furniture and electrical retail store in Rotherham which will sell both donated stock and a range of new goods. The town centre operation would create six jobs and recruitment for a store manager is underway.

The units at 37 & 39 College Street have been marketed by Brassington Rowan and Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

Rotherham was one of the first 50 towns in the UK to sign up as a BHF Heart Town as part of the initiative to bring entire communities together through local fundraising and volunteering to help beat heart disease.

WH Smith website
British Heart Foundation website

Images: Brassington Rowan

3 comments:

Mr me January 6, 2016 at 3:01 AM  

What a joke of a town.Rotherhams a wate of space as a shopping and leisure destination,infact what is it.Ghetto comes to mind.

Anonymous,  January 6, 2016 at 9:10 AM  

It's sad for those losing their jobs but I can't remember the last time I went in to be honest. E-books and Amazon combined with discount stores makes WH Smith on the High Street somewhat redundant.

Anonymous,  May 21, 2016 at 2:04 AM  

I will miss WH Smith in Rotherham. A key flagship retailer occupying a key retailing location.
The aroma of paper, magazines & books will be gone forever from this site. Discount retailers will entrench and therefore
a steady devalued offer to customers will persist. John Speeds, BHS, Ratcliffes & others have gone. Retailing in Rotherham is on the
way to the plughole and nothing it seems can stop its progress.

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