UK-based travel retailer WHSmith is bullish on growth prospects for 2024, with plans to open more than 110 stores this year — and more than 50 of those openings will be in North America.
“Our travel business is growing strongly across all our divisions and we have seen a notably strong performance in the UK, our largest division,” said Carl Cowling, Group Chief Executive at WHSmith in a statement. “During this period, we successfully opened our largest UK Travel Store in Birmingham airport — a one-stop shop for travel essentials — and we have received very positive feedback from both landlord and customers.”
Discussing the retailer’s performance in North America, Cowling noted that “our core MRG [Marshall Retail Group] airport business, which is now approximately 50% of the revenue of our North American division, continues to perform strongly with good LFL [like-for-like] growth. The growth opportunities in North America are substantial and there is a good pipeline of tenders. We have a strong airport store opening program in the year with the majority of these stores due to open in the second half, as expected.”