Ten members of staff could lose their jobs after Waterstone’s in Epsom announced it would be closing.
Staff at the Ashley Centre store were told on Monday, February 20, that their last trading day would be March 12 leaving many uncertain of their future.
One member of staff, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We were all really shocked. They are trying to see if there are any other positions for staff in the area, but the nearest stores are Sutton, Kingston and Dorking. Ninety per cent of the staff live in Epsom so anybody who walks or cycles is going to have to go quite a way if we are moved. There are not any other book shops around apart from WH Smith. We need a bit more variety, not less."
Waterstones would not confirm why it was closing the branch but said it will work to relocate staff at alternative stores where possible.
Fiona Allen, head of communications at Waterstones said: "There are commercial reasons as to why it is closing and that can include anything from negotiations of lease or any number of reasons, some of which are in our control and others are not. It’s always a difficult time when we close a book shop and it’s very difficult for the people who are affected. Obviously for the customers that have used that shop over many years we are very grateful for them and very sad that we have to take the decision to close it."
A rumour that the reason for its departure was a rent hike has been denied by The Ashley Centre which confirmed that negotiations to fill the soon to be vacant retail unit are already underway.