Company: WHSmith PLC
Brand value: US$732 million
Change since 2018: NEW ENTRY!
Headquarter city: Swindon, Wiltshire
Year formed: 1792
WHSmith is a national chain of stores selling books, stationery, newspapers and magazines, gifts, cards, food, drinks and confectionary. It has High Street stores around the country, and its Travel division offers smaller stores at stations and airports with a range tailored to commuters and air passengers. The Travel business operates 1,004 branches, including 425 international stores in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, South-East Asia and India. There are 599 High Street stores serving over 320 million customers a year. Stock is adjusted seasonally, with a heavy focus on Christmas and “back to school”. The High Street division operates whsmith.co.uk, and offers personalised cards and gifts via funkypigeon.com and funkypigeon.ie in Ireland. Digital screens have been installed in around 100 WHSmith stores for its own marketing and for third parties. Group chief executive Stephen Clarke will step down at the end of October this year after six years at the helm; he is being replaced by Carl Cowling, who has been running the High Street business.