The WH Smith store in The Mall in Blackburn will be closing down in August, the chain has confirmed.

The retailer announced the news on Thursday morning and pointed customers to its nearby Accrington store.

A WH Smith spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the WH Smith store in The Mall Blackburn will be closing at the beginning of August when the lease expires.

"We’d like to thank all our local customers for shopping with us; they can continue to buy our great range of products at our nearby store in Accrington.”

The retailer did not give a reason for the closure and would not comment on whether it plans to make further closures.

The store closed during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but other essential businesses in the shopping centre stayed open throughout.

WH Smith used to have a larger store which overlooked Lord Square in Blackburn, but when The Mall was renovated and the Square demolished it moved into a new unit in the extension.

In May, the company said its online book sales has soared by 400% since lockdown began, but travel and high street revenues were both sharply down.

It has lost millions in pre-tax profits due to stores temporarily closing, but said last month it was determined to limit job cuts and store closures as its competitors moved quickly to announce major changes.

Last month, The Mall returned to normal opening times as the nationwide lockdown eased many of its non-essential shops reopened.

The shopping centre had remained partially open throughout the crisis to allow some retailers to continue trading.