WH Smith rethinks its product strategy

WH Smith is to launch a new format in its high-street stores using a “project-based” approach which, it believes, has bolstered its ailing subsidiary, Do It All.

In a new move under the “Project Enliven” review, WH Smith will group products under themed headings such as “Education” and “Home Office.” These could replace traditional sections such as magazines, books and videos.

The changes are part of a review of WH Smith’s formats for its high-street stores. The group is planning to open larger stores and extend existing store space through using stock rooms.

WH Smith will also open smaller stores. This is possible because of advances made in stock and delivery systems.

In another development, the store chain is to reduce its music section, and increase the space given to video. This will avoid conflicts between the chain and music subsidiaries Our Price and Virgin.

It is increasing its branding for subsidiary chains Virgin, Our Price and Waterstones, which it sees as engines for future growth. The chain has developed a new method of analysing towns to find the best combination of music and book shops for each area. This “integrated approach” could help the store group as it plans moves into small towns.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here