Swindon-based WH Smith to open 18 tech and accessories stores in major UK airports

WH Smith InMotion

Swindon-headquartered national stationery retailer WH Smith is to open 18 technology and accessories stores in UK airports, including London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham and East Midlands.

These stores will trade under the InMotion brand, its market leading tech and accessories business in North America.

WH Smith bought the InMotion brand in 2018, it was the largest airport-based tech accessories retailer in North America with more than 115 stores across 43 US airports.

Using its learnings and expertise from North America, the UK stores will provide passengers with premium products from brands such as Apple and Samsung, as well as a range of tech accessories.

The retailer said: “In a fully recovered travel environment, we anticipate that these stores will deliver sales of c.£60 million per year.”

In its latest trading statement, WH Smith revealed that while both its Travel and High Street businesses continue to be impacted by the current trading environment, it is encouraged by the improving trends.

The company stated: “While passenger numbers remain significantly down versus 2019, we are seeing a gradual recovery in sales as restrictions are eased. In the 18 weeks to 3 July 2021, UK Travel total revenue was 32 per cent versus 2019. By channel in the UK, air was 10 per cent, hospitals were 80 per cent and rail was 34 per cent compared to 2019 levels. In the week to 3 July, total UK Travel revenue was 38 per cent compared to 2019.”