WHSmith has partnered with Well Pharmacy to open a new store concept in Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal.
The stationery specialist launched the new format last Monday following successful trials in Southampton and Southend airports.
The 5,000 sq ft store will stock its usual range of travel store products, such as newspapers, books and confectionery, alongside a licensed pharmacy selling 2,500 health and beauty lines. Expert pharmacists will also be on hand to serve customers.
WHSmith chief executive Stephen Clarke told Retail Week that sales at the new store were “looking good” after a week of trading, but said the business will take time to assess the results.
WHSmith already operates various store concepts in its travel arm, including The Bookshop and its Tech Express gadgets and electricals fascia.
It is also a franchisee of M&S Simply Food and has partnerships with the likes of Costa Coffee to enhance its proposition.
Clarke said the new format reflected airports’ requirements “as retail space becomes more and more constrained” within the travel hubs.
He added that it also met the needs of travellers, who were “increasingly looking for one-stop shops in places like airports where maybe time is constrained”.
Clarke said: “One of the reasons why I think our travel business has thrived over the years, be that in hospitals, trains stations or airports, is because we have been very innovative in terms of the format development”.