Christmas retail slump hits WH Smith

WH Smith saw sales drop over Christmas due to the tough conditions on the high street. The retailer has reported a dip of 3% in sales at its high street division for the 21 weeks to January 26.

It has also reported a 1% increase in sales at its travel division, which includes its outlets in train stations and airports.

The retailer says it will return the £90m to shareholders despite the dip via an initial return of £60m through a special dividend, coupled with a £30m share buy-back programme over the course of the next year.

According to figures from Aegis Group’s SPSL unit, which monitors UK store traffic, the number of British people visiting high street shops fell 3.2% last month.

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