If you go to WHSmith in Grays you will see a sign on the door – it is closing down at 5.30pm on Saturday 2nd March. The next closes WHSmith will be in Thurrock.
As well as losing WHSmith, Grays looks like it will lose its town centre Post Office which is inside WHSmith. While we assume that a new location will be found for the Post Office, at the moment we just do not know if it will survive.
WHSmith is in the Grays Shopping Centre and is one of the most important stores in the town. It is also one of the last places where you can buy books and stationary in town.
WHSmith have said that the decision to close the store has been taken for commercial reasons following the lease expiring. They are keen to find a suitable alternative store in town and hope to relocate if the price is right.
In many places landlords are still increasing rents on shops even though the retail sector is suffering more than ever. We do not know if increased rents were the problem in this instance though.
Grays Post Office
Grays has a population of around 30,000 people which is more than enough to provide good business for a Post Office. Many residents felt that its move into the WHSmith building was a poor decision and now they are speaking out against this.
However, Cllr John Kent has already said that he will endeavour to keep the Post Office open. One option on the table is to move it into the library. This will help both businesses to weather the ongoing economic storm.
Photo courtesy of the Rodriguez Gonzalez Gonalez Photographic, Video and Prawn Supply Agency to West Thurrock!