Shutdown date announced for Wigan's WHSmith's
A closing date of December 4 has been set for Wigan’s WHSmith store.
The retailer announced its intention to shut the Standishgate branch earlier this year, much to many people’s shock, saying it was “unviable”.
It had been hoped that the company could be persuaded to change its mind about leaving what is one of the most prominent retail pitches in Wigan town centre, but closure was confirmed in September.
No announcement has yet been made about finding a new home for the town’s post office which had based inside Smiths since its former GPO base closed several years ago.
Pub and club boss Tony Callaghan recently bought the old GPO premises on Wallgate to turn into a major new venue and has offered to give over a portion of the premises for post office use, if bosses need it it.
But so far no decision appears to have been made, the Post Office, having announced that it had had several alterative offers.
In the meantime all of the WHSmith stock is now being sold off with big discounts.
Smiths is the latest in a growing list of businesses to pull out of Wigan town centre. Some, like Marks and Spencer, moved out of town, while others - like the Grand Arcade anchor tenant Debenhams have ceased to exist on every UK high street.
One onlooker said: “This is another sad milestone for Wigan. It’s not like Smiths has folded - it still has shops is many other towns. And yet in Wigan it has finally failed. I don’t know what that tells us about Wigan but it’s not good.”
A Post Office spokesperson said today: “The operator for Wigan Post Office has made the difficult decision to close their store. The branch is due to close at its current location in early December.
“We know how important a post office is to a community. Due to the resignation of the operator, the vacancy has been advertised.
“We have several interested applicants with premises whom are currently in process, once a successful candidate has been appointed, we will then consult on relocating the branch.”
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