WHSmith reports 7% dip in high street sales

WHSmith has revealed a 7% dip in its high street like-for-like sales for the 20 weeks to January 17, although sales are down just 3% when its CD and DVD arm is excluded.

City analysts are suggesting the retailer’s entertainment sales has been hit by the demise of Woolworth’s distribution arm, Entertainment UK, which followed its sister company into administration on Christmas Eve.

The retailer reported its travel agent arm WHSmith Travel has held up relatively well with only a 1% drop in like-for-like sales. Chief executive Kate Swann says the retailer is “pleased” with “progress” in the travel division, but she adds that it will be “accelerating cost reduction plans” to cope with “subdued” consumer spending in its markets.

The cost savings are expected to come from a faster than anticipated withdrawal from sales of DVDs and CDs, which the retailer announced it would be replacing with more profitable book titles last April (MW April 17).

Meanwhile, Stylo, the parent company of shoe retailer Barrat’s and Priceless parent, has been placed into administration. Stylo says it hopes to pay-off creditors via restructuring and re-financing by administrators rather than a sell-off of the businesses, which will continue to trade as normal.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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 are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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