Stationary and book retailer WHSmith has bought 22 stores from British Bookshops & Stationers (BB&S) for £1.05 million.
The high street mainstay has seized the opportunity to add to its store portfolio after BB&S appointed Zolfo Cooper’s Simon Appell, Fraser Gray and Stuart Mackellar as administrators last month.
Locations acquired include Chichester, Littlehampton, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells - with all 22 of the shops based in the south-east of England.
A statement from WHSmith revealed that no stock has been purchased as part of the deal.
Today’s move may come as a surprise to those analysts who have suggested that WHSmith’s presence on the high street may be under threat.
The company has plans to expand further in the year ahead, with around 20 more high street outlets expected to open in 2011.
Additionally, the group’s travel arm - comprising of stores at airports, train stations, office, motorway and hospital locations - recently became the largest part of the business and is expected to grow significantly over the next five years.