WH Smith to open 18 tech stores

WH Smith has announced that it is opening 18 technology and accessories stores across major UK airports.

The retailer, which currently has over 1,700 stores in more than 30 countries, will open stores at London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands, as well as others.

The new stores will trade under the InMotion brand, which is the company’s tech and accessories business in North America.

According to WH Smith, InMotion is the largest airport-based digital accessories retailer in North America, comprising 117 stores across 43 airports in the United States.

The company said that customers will have access to a number of brands, including Apple and Samsung, as well as a range of tech accessories.

The British retailer predicts that in a fully recovered travel environment the new stores will bring in sales of £60 million per year.

“ We expect these new wins will incur capex and working capital investment of £15 million which will be incurred in the financial year ending 31 August 2022,” said the company in a statement.

WH Smith also announced up-to-date figures in the trading update. High Street revenue only reached 86 per cent of 2019 levels in the 18 weeks to 3 July.

“This performance reflects High Street footfall which remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said WH Smith. “However, our websites, including funkypigeon.com, continue to deliver a good performance. During the period, we accelerated our commitment to champion literacy across the UK.”

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