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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Sunny outlook for WH Smith

The Business Magazine article image for: Sunny outlook for WH Smith
6 June 2024

High street and airport bookseller and stationer WH Smith, which has its headquarters in Swindon, says it is on track to deliver full year trading in line with expectations. In a statement today it said it is well positioned for the peak summer trading period.

Its UK travel division saw total revenues up nine per cent in the 13 weeks to June 1 this year. The transformation of the business to a one-stop-shop for travel essentials is delivering strong results, increasing average transaction values and returns. As part of its category development initiatives to expand the breadth and quality of its food-to-go ranges, the retailer recently launched a new food-to-go brand, Smiths Family Kitchen, in more than 300 Travel stores.

Revenues are also up in its North American division, up five per cent – on a constant currency basis. Like for Like sales were flat, so the retailer is introducing a range of initiatives including focussing on higher performing categories, increasing snacking and confectionery and the number of chillers in store.

But the results aren't all rosy. Total revenue, including on-line, at WH Smith's UK High Street division, was down four per cent in the 13 week period to June 1.

It has opened five new Toys "R" Us shop-in-shops within its stores. Early feedback has been good, and it is on track to open a further 25 shop-in-shops in the balance of the financial year.

The company said: "Looking ahead, the Group is well positioned as we enter our peak summer trading period. Good trading momentum continues across all three Travel divisions and we are in a strong position to capitalise on substantial growth opportunities across our markets."


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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