A SLEAFORD bookshop has announced it will be closing its doors to the public in January 2013 after 14 years of trade.
Walkers Bookshop, which also has branches in Stamford and Rutland claims it has been forced to close after a branch of WHSmith opened nearby leading to a significant loss of profit.
Managing director Tim Walker said: "The reason we are closing is completely down to the arrival of WHSmith.
"We were just carrying on nicely before then."
Another factor which could have affected the demise of the book shop is the ever-growing popularity of electronic reading devices such as Kindles and iPads.
However Mr Walker said: "The book trade in general has been struggling lately but there are still plenty of people who still enjoy a real book."
Walkers is a family-run business that has been running since the early 1970s with its first branch opening in Oakham. It has won several awards over the years including Thorntons Best Account Management 2009, Booksellers Association Outstanding Contribution to Independent Bookselling Award 2008 and various others.
The manager of the Sleaford branch of WHSmith said: "We've only been here a few weeks and we heard that Walkers were going to be closing down anyway.
"A lot of people have said they're grateful we're here now seeing as Walkers is going."
Mr Walker added that he feared if the proposed plans for a new Tesco go ahead in Sleaford it could well lead to more independent shops having to close.