Train station sales and book recommendations help WH Smith grow profits

14th Oct 2016

Stores at airports and train stations, along with a new book club, have helped WH Smith increase sales and profits.

The retailer reported an 8 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £131m in the year to 31 August, while Group sales climbed by 3 per cent to £1.21bn. Like-for-like sales – which exclude new stores opened during the year – rose 1 per cent.

Sales were boosted by the launch of a book club featuring social media vlogger Zoella, who picked eight titles to recommend to customers. The club helped the retailer grow profits in its high-street stores by 5 per cent year-on-year to £62m.

Meanwhile, its travel business, which includes shops in train stations and airports, saw trading profits increase 9 per cent to £87m. The company attributed the growth to a rise in the number of passengers travelling and new souvenir and headphone ranges in stores.

WH Smith’s profits show that delivering fast, convenient experiences and creating trusted relationships with an emotional connection – as recommended by The Institute of Customer Service’s latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index – can help organisations increase market share.

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