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WH Smith to shut 25 high street stores after it reports £280m loss

Retailer says nearly 200 jobs will be affected as coronavirus pandemic hits sales

WH Smith is to close 25 high street stores, affecting nearly 200 jobs, after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the retailer £280m into the red.

The books to paperclips chain said it was likely to permanently close the stores, which are mainly smaller ones, as sales in its high street business fell 19%. Its previously successful travel outlets – in stations, airports and hospitals – recorded a 43% slide in sales in the year to 31 August. In contrast, the retailer’s main website increased sales by more than 240%.

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