By John Smith • 08 July 2021 • 13:04
InMotion is a major presence in the USA
Credit: WH Smith Press Centre
IT was announced on July 8 that WH Smith will open 18 technology and accessories stores at UK airports through its US subsidiary.
Following the decision by Dixons Carphone to close all of its UK airport concession stores in April of this year, WH Smith applied to take over some of the vacant outlets and will operate its InMotion subsidiary in a number of major UK airports including London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham and East Midlands.
InMotion is the largest airport-based digital accessories retailer in North America, comprising 117 stores across 43 airports in the United States, with a presence in nine of the top ten and 22 of the top 25 busiest US airports.
It sells a range of technology and digital accessories from the leading brands in the category, includes premium headphones and earbuds, travel accessories, mobile power, portable speakers and action cameras from suppliers such as Apple and Samsung.
The company expects to invest around £15 million (€16.5 million) up to August 2022 in refitting and stocking the shops but says that in a fully recovered travel environment, it anticipates that these stores will deliver sales of c.£60 million (€66 million) per year.
Although business has suffered in its travel division with sales running at around 48 per cent of 2019, its High Street shops are seeing much better results at 86 per cent of 2019 turnover.
The liquidity position remains strong and at the end of June 2021, the company had cash at hand of £95 million (€105 million) and their revolving credit facility of £250 million (€275 million) remains undrawn.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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