Covid puts paid to bookshop closing down in the Galleries shopping centre in Washington
A bookshop in the Galleries shopping centre in Washington is to shut permanently after two years of trading.
Books For Less will close its doors for good on Sunday, July 25 at the latest. However, trading could cease even sooner than that if all of the store’s stock is bought up by last minute customers before then.
A closing down sale has been taking place, with signs inviting book buyers to “Fill a bag for only £10” in the shop, which sits close to the crossroads at the centre of the shopping centre, opposite McDonald’s restaurant.
The company which owns the business is the Sheffield based firm Bestsellers Direct Ltd.
The book store employs four staff, for whom the company is trying to find employment elsewhere. One staff member has been employed by the firm on-and-off for the past 10 years.
The company says that the Covid pandemic has played a significant role in the decision to close the outlet for good. The number of customers coming through the doors has simply dwindled too far.
Mark Williamson is the general manager of Books For Less. He is disappointed that the store has been forced to close, but said that the Galleries itself was in no way to blame.
Mr Williamson told the Echo: “Ever since we opened up after the last lockdown the footfall just hasn’t come back to us.
“Our demographic is nearer retirement age. The people who like to come into our shop tend to also like to sit in a cafe or restaurant while they’re doing their shopping; but they were closed for so long.
“Business has just not been what it was and not what it should be.
“There is no issue with the Galleries. Over the years they’ve been very good to us. We’re trying to relocate the staff who work in the shop.”
Management at the Galleries have so far not commented on the closure of Books For Less.
Cafes and restaurants in the shopping centre have now reopened including AM Coffee, Gillies and Muffin Break which are open either six or seven days a week.