Hundreds of Branches Set to Close: Retailers Struggling Amidst Changing Shopping Habits

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WHSmith to Shut Another Store

WHSmith, a popular high street chain with 1,400 branches, is set to close its shop in Alfreton, Derbyshire in January 2024, adding to the growing list of closures. The news of the closure has left local residents devastated, expressing concerns about the declining number of shops in the area. WHSmith has already closed two branches this year and is planning to shut its branch in Ramsgate, Kent, at the beginning of 2024.

Retailers Struggle as Consumers Shift Online

The closure of WHSmith branches reflects a wider trend of struggling retailers across the UK. Many consumers have shifted towards online shopping, putting pressure on both small and large businesses. Combined with high inflation and increased energy and wage costs, this has forced several chains to close stores and cut back on costs.

Other Retailers Facing Similar Challenges

WHSmith is not alone in closing stores. Iceland, Boots, and Costa Coffee have all closed a number of branches due to changing consumer behaviors and rising costs. In addition, several retailers, including Paperchase, Cath Kidston, and M&Co, have gone bust completely. However, it's not all doom and gloom – Iceland, Primark, Poundland, and B&M are also opening new branches in certain areas.

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