MARKS and Spencer has closed a Food to Go at WHSmith in Bournemouth – less than a year after setting up shop in the stationery store.

Sandwiches, salads, pasta pots and snacks had been on offer on the ground floor of the Old Commercial Road store since May last year.

But last week, bosses at M&S withdrew the option.

It is understood the chain was 'unhappy' with sales at the store, and officials from WHSmith are said to be disappointed.

Staff at WHSmith had redesigned part of the shop floor to accommodate the service. The shelves are now filled with bottled water.

A spokesperson from M&S said: "As part of our transformation plan, we’re reshaping our store estate to meet the changing needs of our customers.

"With our long-standing franchise partner, WHSmith, we’re trialling serving customers on High Streets where we don’t have a store – making our Food to Go offering accessible for busy customers.

"We have monitored the results of this trial very closely and will continue to progress the trial in some locations.

"However, our products will be removed from the Bournemouth WHSmith store.”

WHSmith already houses a Post Office on its first floor.

The M&S store in Commercial Road has been empty since it closed in April 2018.

It had been a fixture in the town since 1930 and its closure was described as “a blow to Bournemouth” by Beales boss Tony Brown.

Earlier this month, we revealed THAT Group – the company behind Bournemouth's Hilton Hotel – hope to build offices and shops at the site.

The developers aim to have plans submitted by summer 2020, with an expectation work could begin early spring 2021.

THAT Group has recently began redeveloping parts of the Daily Echo building in Richmond Hill. Areas of the historic building are now home to the THIS Workspace brand.