After nearly 35 years, it was announced this week that the town’s branch of W. H. Smith’s would be closing on 3rd September 2022.
A spokesperson for W. H. Smith was quoted in the Keighley News online on 9th July 2022: “We can confirm that the WH Smith store in Keighley 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 as a result of the forthcoming lease expiry. We are currently in discussion with Post Office Limited, so it has time to find a suitable franchise partner to ensure continuity of post office services within the town. We are disappointed to be losing our presence in Keighley and we would like to thank all our customers for their support and for shopping with us. We are also extremely grateful for the commitment of our in-store colleagues who we will support with this transition and redeploy to nearby stores, where possible.”
The store had opened in the Airedale Centre on 4th December 1987, with an advert announcing the fact in the Keighley News of the same day: “There’s a new shop in town. The name’s familiar, but it looks and feels completely different. Of course, when you see the exciting stationery, books, cards, newspapers and all the other things for which we’re famous, you’ll realise you can’t be anywhere other than W. H. Smith. Just a word of warning about your first visit to our new shop: make sure you’re not in a hurry. The temptation to browse could well prove irresistible. Because when you’re in a stylish shop, you can’t help shopping in style.” (With thanks to Eddie Kelly.)
Top images taken in 1987/88 from slides donated to the History Society by Steve Seymour. 1987 Advert provided by Eddie Kelly. Bottom photograph taken by Tim Neal in July 2022.