WH Smith travel arm struggles to recover amid Omicron

WH Smith has reported a slump in spending across airports and train stations amid Omicron.

The group’s travel arm has been hit by the pandemic. Airport stores were trading at 58% of 2019 levels in January. Stores at train stations were trading at 69% in December.

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“We have seen a small impact from the Omicron variant in January but, as elsewhere, we believe this will be short term,” said WH Smith.

The group’s high street stores faired better and were trading at 87% of 2019 levels in January.

 “Looking ahead, although we are seeing a small impact from the Omicron variant, we anticipate a resumption in the recovery of our travel markets over the coming months,” said chief executive, Carl Cowling.

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