// WHSmith mulls taking over Dixon Carphone’s airport stores
// Dixons Carphone recently confirmed it would close down 35 travel shops – placing 400 jobs at risk
// WHSmith recently secured £325m to fund an expansion scheme as it bet on the recovery of travel
WHSmith is reportedly mulling the possibility of taking over Dixon Carphone’s airport stores as part of a travel recovery gamble.
According to The Telegraph, WHSmith chief executive Carl Cowling is sizing up Dixons Carphone’s stores in airports after the latter recently confirmed it would close down all 35 of its travel shops – a move that places 400 jobs at risk.
Cowling said Dixon Carphone’s exit from the travel retail sector was “another opportunity” to roll out InMotion, the US gadget chain it acquired in 2018.
- WHSmith to open 100 new travel shops despite Covid-19 losses
- Dixons Carphone to close all airport stores
- WHSmith hails “better than expected” trading since January
Cowling also said WHSmith “was already talking to landlords to bring InMotion to more stores”.
He added that the fascia would work well at airports.
An InMotion store already operates at Leeds Bradford Airport.
The news comes after WHSmith revealed last week that plans to expand with the opening of 100 new shops in airports and train stations, despite the losses the business suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said it has a pipeline of 68 stores to open in the US, with the remaining travel stores set to open across the UK, Australia and the rest of Europe.
The books and stationery retailer secured £325 million to fund the expansion scheme as it bet on the recovery of commuting and international travel.
WHSmith generated more than half of sales and profits from its stores in airports, train stations, hospitals and motorway service areas before the pandemic struck.
It expects sales to recover to 2019 levels within the next two to three years.