WHSmith continues global push as travel revenue continues to grow

18th January 2023 | Jack Oliver

WHSmith says it has 130 stores in the pipeline globally as its travel stores continue to perform well.

In the 20 weeks to 14 January, WHSmith saw a group revenue increase of 41% compared to the same period in 2022.

This number was 70% higher in its UK stores, 31% higher in the United States, and nearly a 200% increase in the rest of the world.

Group revenue was 20% higher than in 2019, prior to the Pandemic.

However, high street revenue was down by 2% and 14% against 2022 and 2019 respectively, although much of WHSmiths focus is now on its travel stores.

WHSmith said it is continuing to see improving passenger numbers across UK airports, strong trading in hospitals, and its rail division performing well.

The retailer said it is on track to open 15 stores in the UK within the next year.

Internationally, WHSmith said it has 60 new stores won in the US, including at Reagan National Airport in Washington and Palm Springs airport, California. It also said it had seen notable improvements in Australia and Asia, with Europe being the best performing area in the most recent period.

Carl Cowling, group chief executive, said: “Our strategy to transform our customer offer continues at pace through broadening our categories and expanding our ranges, to include health and beauty and tech accessories, and is underpinned by a forensic approach to retail.”

“The Group is in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer. This strength, combined with the ongoing improvement in passenger numbers across the globe, means that we are confident of another year of significant growth in 2023”, he added.


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