Strategy spotlight: How travel versus high street is playing out at WHSmith

WHSmith airport shop 2

WHSmith has been dependent on its growing travel division to offset a long-term sales decline across the high street, where annual revenues are now little over half 2010 levels. As its latest results show, the travel division is growing rapidly, but after years of cost-cutting its high street estate is now in dire need of investment. Our Retail Week analysts examine WHSmith’s performance and priorities for both divisions as the retailer continues to invest in one and cut costs in the other

With travel accounting for 66% of group sales and 73% of headline trading profit in 2021/22, Retail Week analysts look at how the strategic conundrum is impacting the business and discuss the focus for both operations.  

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