WH Smith to leave Barking shopping centre

Vicargae Field's WH Smith store will close in September

Vicargae Field's WH Smith store will close in September - Credit: Archant

A Barking shopping centre is set to lose its WHSmith store this autumn.

The stationary retail chain will close its shop in Vicarage Field in September, becoming the second big company to exit the mall after Asda’s move across town.

A spokeswoman from WHSmith said: “We can confirm that the WHSmith store in Barking will be closing in September.

“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.”

The store will close at midday on Wednesday, September 9, but the chain’s other base in Barking Station will remain open, the Post understands.

President of the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Mark Bass said: “It’s always a shame to see a major retailer pull out of the area.

“We’re always trying to attract more of them to the town centre.

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“Hopefully they’ll be exciting developments to promote the shopping centre and someone else will come in to the area.”

Readers have also been having their say on social media.

Commenting on another story, Stephen Pudney wrote how he feels the town centre’s parking charges are behind the move.

He said: “Even WHSmith is pulling out of Barking because if you stop to buy just a newspaper the parking will cost 90p.”

Asda will close its Vicarage Field store in September and relocate to North Street.