Norwich’s Cardmarket to close as owner WH Smith announces overhaul

PUBLISHED: 10:16 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:33 11 October 2018

Castle Mall entrance. Photo: Dudley Racher

Castle Mall entrance. Photo: Dudley Racher

(c) copyright

WH Smith will be closing its Cardmarket store in Norwich as the group announced an overhaul following sliding profits.

WH Smith , Norwich. Picture: Nick ButcherWH Smith , Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

The retailer said that it would be closing six WH Smith stores, and wind down trials including the 20-strong Cardmarket franchise, and convenience store chain WH Smith Local.

Owners have confirmed that Cardmarket employees will be distributed to other WH Smith stores.

Norwich’s Castle Mall currently hosts a Cardmarket store.

The WH Smith Local franchises - which are run as concessions within independent newsagents and convenience stores - will be wound down as contracts come to an end.

WH Smith said the move was designed to “better structure the business for the future”.

There are WH Smith stores across East Anglia, with Norwich and Ipswich having a handful in their city centres.

Stephen Clarke, group chief executive of WH Smith, said: “We had a good year despite the well-documented challenges of the UK high street.

“During an encouraging second half, the business traded well and we quickly identified the latest trend in the market, becoming a one-stop-shop for all slime-related products.

“Despite this good performance, we are not ignoring the broader challenges on the UK high street and, during the second half, we conducted a business review to ensure our high street business is fit for purpose now and for the future.”

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