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WH Smith buys 18 Dixons Travel stores for its InMotion chain

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Back in April, we reported that all Dixons Travel branches in UK airports are to close.

The closure was blamed on the ban on tax free airport shopping, which took effect on 1st January 2021. Following the end of the Brexit transition process, the Government had to choose between allowing tax free shopping when travelling to EU countries or banning it entirely. It chose the latter.

WH Smith has now jumped in.

WH Smith buys 18 Dixons Travel stores

It was acquired 18 of the 35 Dixons Travel outlets. This includes the airport stores at London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, London Luton, Birmingham and East Midlands.

The stores will trade under the InMotion brand, which WH Smith acquired a few years ago and which has 117 stores across 43 US airports. InMotion focusses on tech products and accessories and is far more accessories focussed than Dixon Travel.

WH Smith said that it expects the 18 stores to generate sales of £60 million per year once travel returns to its historic levels.

The remaining 17 Dixons Travel stores, which includes some extra UK sites as well as shops in Ireland, Norway and on two P&O cruise ships, are not included.

Comments (52)

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  • the_real_a says:

    WHSmiths – the “wrong” type of high street retailer that is so well run, has so little debt, that in the middle of a pandemic it manages to take opportunities to expand when just about every other retailer is 2 away from bankruptcy.

    • the_real_a says:


    • Oh! Matron says:

      Given all the “knowledge” in the previous page, that’s exactly the same conclusion I came to. When people stopped buying CDs, I wondered if that might have been it for WHS: and yet, after that, and the pandemic, as you say, it’s expanding.

      Those little, quite smart, tech shops that they have are exactly what high sts need. And the margins on chargers and cables is far in excess of a MBP.

      I wish them luck.

  • 1nfrequent says:

    OT – I had the Marriott Bonvoy AmEx until March 2020. Am thinking of taking it out again to take advantage of the gold membership offer. Given it’s over 12 months since I last had it, am I likely to get approved or is there a longer wait period?


    • Rob says:

      No problem getting approved – I’d imagine they are keener than usual to have you, as they don’t need to pay for a bonus.

  • barnaby100 says:

    They need an M&S Food airside- that would be the best addition

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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