WHSmith is to extend its partnership with Toys R Us to more branches following the success of the first wave of store-in-stores.

WHSmith/Toys R Us

WHSmith is opening more Toys R Us shop-in-shops

WHSmith has signed a new exclusive agreement to open another 30 Toys R Us areas by the end of its financial year, meaning they will be trading in time for the peak Christmas season.

The openings follow the debut of nine Toys R Us shop-in-shops in WHSmith stores last year.

WHSmith, which this week reported its interim results, said the initial Toys R Us space had performed well and that the decision to open more would bring an improved toys and games offer to customers.

The exact locations have not yet been disclosed.

Toys R Us shut its UK stores in 2018 after collapsing into administration but returned last June when WHSmith opened the first shop-in-shop in its York Monks Cross branch.

The rollout of Toys R Us to more locations is part of WHSmith’s emphasis on highly disciplined space management to maximise returns.

The retailer’s legacy high street division, which is where the Toys R Us shops are located, is the junior partner to the travel arm, which has been growing strongly in the UK and overseas. 

The high street business achieved a “good” first half, WHSmith reported. Headline trading profit of £22m was similar to last year’s £24m, while revenue came in at £256m versus £266m.