WHSmith Closes Beloved Store in Sale, Cheshire, to Make Way for New Cinema

WHSmith, a familiar presence on British high streets since 1972, has announced the closure of its Stanley Square store in Sale, Cheshire. The decision, attributed to the landlord’s redevelopment plans, marks a significant loss for the local community. The iconic blue and white shop-front, a fixture in the area for years, will be replaced by a brand new cinema called The Northern Light, operated by Manero Cinemas.

News of the closure has sparked disappointment among local shoppers who expressed concerns about the dwindling retail prospects in the area. One shopper on the Life in Sale Facebook page commented, “How long before one of the supermarkets pull out of Sale? Sale centre is dying at a rapid rate.” Another added, “End of an era, it’s been there a long time, hardly any shops now, no point in going to Sale really, I’m almost sure it will be another cafe or restaurant.”

The closure of the Sale store isn’t an isolated incident for WHSmith, as the retailer has been closing several stores across the country this year, including the branch in Slough, Berkshire. Despite the closures, a spokesperson for WHSmith confirmed that the business is not at risk. They stated, “We can confirm that the WHSmith store in Sale will be closing on Saturday, September 14 owing to the landlord’s redevelopment plans. We are disappointed to be losing our presence in Sale and we would like to thank all our customers for their support and for shopping with us.”

The spokesperson also emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting its in-store colleagues, assuring them of redeployment opportunities to nearby stores where possible. The closure of the Sale store will pave the way for The Northern Light, the sixth site in Manero Cinemas’ portfolio. The independent cinema chain, known for its affordable luxury experience, operates other cinemas in the North West, including The Rex in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and The Savoy in Heaton Moor, Stockport.

Tony Mundin, managing director of Manero Cinemas, expressed excitement about bringing a comfortable and enjoyable cinema experience to the residents of Sale. He stated, “We are thrilled to bring an affordable, luxury experience to Sale for everyone to enjoy a trip to the cinema. We will prioritise comfort to ensure everyone has a great time.” The arrival of The Northern Light promises to breathe new life into the Stanley Square area, offering residents a fresh entertainment option and a potential boost to the local economy.

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