WH Smith gives trading update as it wins new airport stores
WH Smith has announced that group sales in the 18 weeks to 3 July reached 62% of revenue recorded at the same time in 2019.
During the period, revenue at the retailer’s high street stores came in at 86% versus 2019. WH Smith said the performance reflected lower footfall compared to pre-pandemic levels, although its websites, including funkypigeon.com, continue to deliver a good performance.
Giving an update on stores in travel locations, the retailer said revenues reached only 48% of 2019 levels in the 18 weeks due to passenger numbers in airports and railway stations remaining low.
WH Smith has also announced that it has won 18 technology and accessories stores across a number of UK airports, including London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham and East Midlands. The stores will trade under the InMotion brand, its technology and accessories business in North America. Once the travel sector has fully recovered, WH Smith expects the stores to achieve sales of around £60 million per year.
Looking ahead, the retailer said: “While both our travel and high street businesses continue to be impacted by the current trading environment, we are encouraged by the improving trends.
“Following the stronger than anticipated performance from our North America business, we anticipate a small improvement to management’s expectations for the current financial year.”