WH Smith, the UK retailer which has introduced its newsagency chain to the Australian market, has found its feet with its travel stores, reporting 5 percent growth in the domestic market.
However the high street format has been much less successful, dropping 3 percent, despite the addition of gifts and stocking fillers over Christmas.
Sarah Johns, analyst at Verdict Retail, said the airport locations were proving valuable to the retailer.
“In some airports such as Heathrow, WH Smith occupies multiple units including those next to departure gates, which allows passengers to make last-minute purchases right before take-off.
“The retailer should continue to offer promotions on snacks, such as buy one get on half price, as well as offer newspaper and drink combinations to convert browsing visitors to paying shoppers.
Johns had advice for the 225 year old retailer and its high street model. WH Smith must listen to customer feedback, carefully manage its store estate and ensure it maintains a good standard of customer service, store layout, and store decor.”
The chain has 145 post offices inside its stores, according to The Guardian.
Australian franchise chain Wild Cards & Gifts is part of the WH Smith group.
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