WH Smith targeting DVD revival


WH Smith is to revive sales of DVDs and CDs in some stores as the stationery retailer plugs a gap left by HMV's collapse.

Low profit margins drove the company away from the entertainment market over the last few years but, after the closure of more than 100 HMV stores, DVDs and CDs are making a comeback in some WH Smith outlets.

These shops include one of its most profitable in London's Victoria railway station, where HMV closed a shop late last year. However, it is not expected there will be a change in the company's strategy on a national level.

WH Smith plans to keep entertainment sales - mostly of popular DVDs such as the latest James Bond film Skyfall - in the "low single digit" percentages, after reducing it from 25% in 2003.

WH Smith's move away from the entertainment sector in favour of books and stationery has been a key part of the strategy of chief executive Kate Swann, who leaves this summer after ten years in the role.

As the popularity of online rivals drag down in-store music and film sales, the move helped WH Smith become one of the more resilient retailers on the high street.

Ms Swann is being replaced by Steve Clarke, managing director of its high street operations, who also played a key role in the group's shift away from the entertainment sector.

WH Smith declined to comment.

High Street casualties

High Street casualties