WH Smith acquires InMotion, a travel retail company in the United States


UK retailer WH Smith has announced the acquisition of US tour operator InMotion for US $ 198 million, marking a significant milestone in WH Smith’s international travel growth strategy.

InMotion is the largest airport-based digital accessories retailer in North America. Founded in 1998, it operates a portfolio of 114 stores at 43 airports in the United States, with a presence in 22 of the 25 busiest airports in the United States. InMotion sells a range of digital accessories, including headphones and earphones, travel accessories, mobile power supplies, portable speakers, and action cameras.

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WH Smith’s travel arm has recorded more than 10 consecutive years of profit growth and now generates two-thirds of the group’s operating profit. International travel is a key element in the group’s future growth and InMotion has been identified as an interesting acquisition in this context.

Following the acquisition, InMotion will continue to operate as a stand-alone business as part of WH Smith’s international travel business. InMotion’s management team will continue to lead the company, including Jeremy Smith, who served as CEO for 12 years.

Stephen Clarke, Group Managing Director, WH Smith, said: “InMotion is a very successful pure play travel retailer in the world’s largest travel retail market. The acquisition of InMotion is an exciting value creation opportunity for the WH Smith Group and marks a major milestone in our strategy for international retail growth. It doubles the size of our international travel business and offers us exciting growth opportunities.

“The travel retail market in North America for digital accessories offers significant growth potential. As a market leader, recognized for its first-rate customer service, InMotion is well positioned to capitalize on this potential.

“In addition, InMotion provides us with a scalable platform to launch the WH Smith Airport Format in the United States, the world’s largest travel retail marketplace for news, books and convenience products. “

Jeremy Smith, President and CEO of InMotion, added, “The InMotion team is thrilled to join such an iconic company with a high growth international division. Working together, we look forward to combining our retail expertise to further develop the InMotion business both in the United States and internationally, while accelerating WH Smith’s international growth strategy.

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