WH Smith buys 22 stores for £1m

WH Smith bolstered its high-street estate yesterday with the acquisition of 22 stores from the administrator of British Bookshops and Stationers.

The retailer said the stores, based throughout the south of England, will trade under their current name for the time being. It paid just over £1m for the outlets. British Bookshops started life in Sussex in 1938 but went into administration in January in a move affecting more than 300 jobs and 51 stores.

The recovery firm Zolfo Cooper said it was actively pursuing options for the remaining stores, all of which have remained open since the administration. About 200 workers will transfer to WH Smith in a phased takeover programme beginning with shops in Teddington and Southwick.

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