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If they try and put a travel agent into my local W H Smith which now also houses the local post office W H Smith might as well pack up shop ...it is a nightmare and I avoid it at all costs ...
If i go to Wh smiths its at a Airport toBuy a book or paper i am always relievedTo get out of the shopI find the whole experience of shopping thereThoughly unpleasant
Epic fail i think !
This will not be the first time WHSmith has ventured into travel retailing as they attempted this in their own right in the 70's. The footage the agencies WHSmith Travel occupied was better spent selling sweets/ newspapers/books. The travel side did not last long as the agencies where in the worst possible location and very difficult to find. Now Hayes are just implants with a rent and profit share - WHS has nothing to loose.
W H Smith opened their first agency in 1973 and by 1991 were the 3rd largest travel agency group in the UK with 201 agencies 98 in store and 103 in prime high street locations. The in store agencies were very profitable the problem was that the high street branches were all opened in an 18 month period from 89/91 and the first gulf war had a major impact on the growth of these new offices W H Smith Travel was now a separate division and rather than wait for the situation to improve W H Smith decided to sell the division to A T Mays