W H Smith has opened the first stores of a new-concept bookshop line in airport terminals, targeting more affluent buyers.
TheBookshop by W H Smith opened in Heathrow Terminal 5 before Christmas; another recently opened in Edinburgh Airport. Surrounded by high-end luxury stores in Terminal 5, the company’s new shop features a “luxury book” section selling expensive coffee-table books, as well as a gift book section.
The branding for the shop contrasts with the current W H Smith look, using white letters on a black background as opposed to the company’s signature white type on a blue background. Last week (9th January) it held an event at Heathrow to mark its latest Fresh Talent promotion. The writers in attendance were Tasha Kavanagh, author of Things We Have in Common (Canongate); Ayisha Malik, author of Sophia Khan is Not Obliged (Bonnier); Jax Miller, author of Freedom’s Child (HarperCollins); Holly Seddon, author of Try Not to Breathe (Atlantic); David Whitehouse, author of Mobile Library (Macmillan); and Benjamin Wood, author of The Ecliptic (S&S).
The writers signed books and talked to fans while airport staff promoted their titles throughout the airport. W H Smith fiction buyer Matt Bates said: “Fresh Talent champions strong, original voices across all fiction genres, with 12 titles promoted every quarter. Bringing six of the writers from our current selection to a such a vibrant environment as Heathrow was really exciting. Our objective was to get the writers one step closer to prospective readers by holding an event that celebrates and shares the very best of new writing in a fun and interactive way for both the writers and the travelling public.”