WHSmith has opened the first two stores under its concept curi.o.city brand.
The outlets in Gatwick airport’s North and South Terminals offer “souvenirs and giftable products”, from independent British brands including Biscuiteers, Cambridge Gin, East London Liquor Co and Grind.
Brand partnerships include ZSL London Zoo, Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum and the V&A Museum, and the stores also carry licensed products from franchises including Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.
WHSmith has been gradually revamping its UK airport presence, having won the tender to operate 18 former Dixons Travel stores back in 2021.
Later that year the group opened a new flagship store at London Stansted airport, combining its traditional travel retail offering with the group’s previously US-focused InMotion technology and accessories concept.
That year also saw WHSmith announce plans to open around 100 new travel stores, including over 60 new outlets in North America.
Commenting on the curi.o.city openings Andrew Harrison, managing director, WHSmith Travel, said:
“Our purpose at WHSmith is to enhance our customers’ journey by providing a great range of products and excellent service from an easy to navigate store.
“The launch of our new curi.o.city stores delivers on all this and more; our giftable ranges and truly localised offer ensures an exciting and memorable retail experience.
“We have received great feedback from passengers travelling through the airport and the team looks forward to welcoming more customers over the coming months.”