About Us

WHSmith, a familiar name right across the UK. What you may not know is that we’ve been on the high street since 1792 and we’ve been expanding ever since. You’ll also find us in a huge range of travel locations, from airports to stations, hospitals to motorway service stations to name only a few. And it’s not just Brits that love our excellent range of products and service. We’re growing rapidly on a global scale and already operate from over 20 countries and over 30 airports outside of the UK. And we’re moving into new territories all the time. These are just some of the many reasons why we have consistently outperformed other major retailers over the past ten years, creating an increased Group profit year-on-year. Our total shareholder return has also increased by around 150% since 2013!

At WHSmith there are no one size fits all solutions for our business. To grow and advance at the rate we have, we’ve needed a strong culture of innovation. One where our employees are actively encouraged to bring new ideas to the table. We adapt our approach for different environments and if one of our entrepreneurial employees thinks they’ve got a great idea that our customers will love and will be financially viable, we give it a go. Some recent examples include the launch of our own-brand coffee shops in hospitals and travel locations, our partnership with M&S to deliver our joint Food to Go offering and the launch of funkyparty.com – the first extension of the Funky Pigeon brand, a company we acquired in 2010.

We have distinct strategies for each of our businesses geared towards sustaining a good performance, all underpinned by engaging with our customers and giving them excellent service. To do this we give our people access to a wide range of training and development opportunities, helping them grow their knowledge base and keeping them engaged with what we do.

As a leading bookseller and stationer, we also invest in our stores’ local communities, supporting education and life-long learning. We also support local councils and high street security groups to promote a positive business environment on the high street. To find out more about our other Corporate Responsibility initiatives please click here.

Our strategy

Our distinct strategy has been successful in driving profit growth and creating shareholder value. WHSmith is made up of two core business – Travel and High Street – and these are run by separate management teams reflecting the different customers, strategies, operating models and cost structures.

In Travel, our goal is to be the leading retailer in convenience, books and news for the world’s travelling customer.

In High Street, our goal is to be Britain’s most popular high street stationer, bookseller and newsagent.

Our strategy

Key facts

1 in 5

people reading a book on their summer holiday will have bought it from WHSmith


of the population of Great Britain are within a 20 minute drive of a WHSmith store


books are sold in our stores each year


of the UK population visit a WHSmith store each year


magazines are sold by our stores each hour


million travellers come into contact with the WHSmith brand every year


customers are served in our High Street stores each year


magazines are sold by us on a weekly basis