In a trading update ahead of its end-of-year results, WHSmith has announced sales will be ‘in line with expectations.’
The books and stationery retailer explained that it plans to expand its stationery ranges and accelerate its international store openings. It reported that its travel arm continues to “perform strongly” both at home and overseas. This includes outlets at airports and railway stations. Recent successes include opening the first of six stores in Rio de Janeiro, and launching eight stores in Terminal 4 at Madrid Airport in August.
WHSmith now has 286 international stores and described in the statement how it continues to seek “further opportunities in the international news, books and convenience travel market.”
WHSmith’s pre-close statement failed to clarify its high-street performance, but its comment that it was ‘performing in line with expectations’ implies high-street sales are currently lagging behind those of its travel arm. The company continues to make cost savings and margin improvements, and part of its strategy involves revitalising its high-street presence with the development of its own stationery ranges, and investing in new concept store trials.