WH Smith Statistics

WH Smith Statistics

WH Smith sales statistics

  • WH Smith sells 30 million books each year in their stores
  • 20% of Brits reading a book on their summer holidays will have bought it in a WH Smith store
  • WH Smith sells 18,000 magazines every hour
  • In 2022, WH Smith generated £1.4 billion in revenue
  • This was a 58% increase on the previous year’s revenue of £886 million
  • The company made a profit of £63 million 
  • This was a huge £179 million swing from the £116 million loss in 2021

When was WH Smith founded?

  • WH Smith was founded in London in 1792
  • It was founded by Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna
  • It was taken over by his son William Henry Smith upon their deaths in 1812
  • William Henry Smith’s son, also named William Henry Smith, came on as a partner at the firm in 1846
  • A WH Smith executive called Tim Waterstone founded Waterstone’s bookstore in 1982
  • WH Smith bought Waterstone in 1989 and sold it again in 1998
  • Also in 1998, WH Smith bought over the John Menzies stores which were the leading competitors in Scotland, clearing the path for WH Smith north of the border

WH Smith and the ISBN (The International Standard Book Number)

  • WH Smith came up with the idea of standardizing book numbers in 1966 with SBN (Standard Book Numbering)
  • WH Smith was modernizing their system – moving to a computerized system to maintain its stock, ordering, and itinerary
  • They came up with the SBN as a way to categorize books so that they were easier to track
  • Other book retailers wanted a way to classify their books and an international system was established in 1970 as ISO 2108
  • In 1974, it became the ISBN and is still in use today

Is WHSmith a public company?

  • WH Smith PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is part of the FTSE mid-250 Index
  • It is listed on the Stock Exchange under SMWH

How many stores does WH Smith have?

  • WH Smith has at least 1,680 stores in 29 countries around the world
  • WH Smith opened 98 new stores in 2021 after travel started up again after the pandemic
  • Outside of the UK, WH Smith opened 38 new stores in 2021
  • WH Smith also won the rights to a further 64 stores around the world that are yet to open
  • Although 17 of their more traditional stores closed back home in the UK
  • This looks to symbolize the new direction in which the company will move away from the high street and focus more on airports around the world
  • 59% of the UK population visits a WH Smith store each year
  • More than 90% of the UK population live within a 20 minute drive of a WH Smith store
USA and Canada290
Europe10913 countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden
Middle East406 countries: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE
China and South East Asia505 countries: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillippines and Singapore