The branch of WHSmith in Sheffield city centre is to reopen on Fargate on Monday – after spending nearly a year trading from temporary premises while extensive repairs were carried out at its usual site.
The store has undergone a complete internal transformation with a new design across three floors, including a bright, neon stationery sign in the entrance.
There will also be a newly-fitted pen shop on the ground floor, an expanded and improved arts and crafts area on the lower ground level, as well as the familiar books department on the first floor.
WHSmith was forced to relocate to temporary premises on Pinstone Street in January, as serious structural issues meant the building’s front wall had to be dismantled piece by piece.
For many months, scaffolding completely shrouded the place and a builders’ compound took up almost the entire width of the street, but in October contractors removed the poles and planks to reveal a reconstructed facade.
The Fargate branch closed on January 30. At the time, property agent Paul Lancaster said the exterior was falling away and WHSmith was liable for the costs, even though it is not the owner.
Problems with the building first emerged in 2016 and the branch closed for maintenance in September that year. The scaffolding was extended a month later and the shop reopened for a spell.
The council was then told the place needed repairs on the third floor, including a new roof, trusses, rafters, and the taking down and rebuilding of the front and back walls. Replacement flat roof finishes were to be provided on the second floor.
A heavily discounted lease was negotiated on Pinstone Street, in the unit last occupied by the Co-op and Budgens, with help from the council.
The retailer previously apologised to customers for not offering the normal shopping 'experience'.
Store manager Becca Bailey said: “All of the team here are absolutely delighted with the new look. We are really looking forward to welcoming both our loyal customers as well as new customers to the store over the coming weeks to see our fantastic Christmas ranges.”