UK newsagent retail group WH Smith now has 120 stores in Australia, across 8 consumer-facing shingles.
In 2011, WH Smith was early in their Australian journey. In 10 years they have come a long way. Their Australian retail group is diverse, and I think that is a strength.
The number of corporate stores in the group is an important strength, as central decisions applied to a group of stores is efficient for their focus on travel convenience.
I like the clarity of their published goal:
OUR GOAL IS TO BE THE LEADING RETAILER IN CONVENIENCE, BOOKS AND NEWS FOR THE WORLD’S TRAVELLING CUSTOMER.
Convenience is a competitive space, especially convenience in the travel setting. Locally owned indie businesses struggle in terms of buying power, marketing spend and in-store consistency.
Kudos to the folks at WH Smith for what they have done in Australia over the last 10 years. I did not expect them to be where they are today.