Kettering shopping centre boss promises big-name replacement for W H Smith
The manager of Kettering's Newlands Shopping Centre has promised a big-name replacement after it was announced that W H Smith would close next month.
Signs have gone up in the retailers saying the current store will close at 2pm on June 22.
The news has been met with disappointment on social media and fears that it will be replaced with a bargain store.
Centre manager Neil Griffin says a deal is almost done which would see a new store open in the unit by the end of the year – but he’s keeping tight-lipped on its identity for now.
He said: “The lease on W H Smith has nearly expired and they’ve decided not to carry it on.
“We’ve got a replacement lined up and it should be open by the end of the year.
“We can’t say who it is yet but what I will say is that it will be the type of name that Kettering has been asking for.
“The new store will be taking on the current unit and part of the old Poundland unit next door.”
Just four months ago W H Smith told the Northants Telegraph that there were no plans in place to close the store in Kettering.
But a spokesman for W H Smith says the firm is unable to continue to trade viably.
They said: “We can confirm that the W H Smith store in Kettering will be closing at the end of June.
“Unfortunately we are unable to continue to trade viably from this location and the decision has been taken to close the store at this time because of the forthcoming lease expiry.”
W H Smith will continue to trade from stores in Corby, Wellingborough and Rushden.