GB: WHSmith looks to fill gap left by Paperchase’s collapse - How is WHSmith doing?
March 10th, 2023, Lesley Simeon

GB: WHSmith looks to fill gap left by Paperchase’s collapse - How is WHSmith doing?

A little over a month after Paperchase collapsed, WHSmith is looking to leverage fresh opportunities created by the former’s collapse, with new high-end stationary stores. The British news, books and stationary retailer will launch ‘’ stores in Gatwick Airport (on 16 March) and at St Pancras International (by April 2023). These standalone outlets will offer gifts, stationery and souvenirs from third party brands.

How many Britons shop at WHSmith?

When it comes to high street retailers purchased from in the past three months, data from YouGov Profiles - which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioral consumer metrics - shows that 14% of the general British population has purchased goods from WHSmith in the past three months.

Tesco acquired the Paperchase brand not too long ago. This deal did not include the latter’s stores or staff and all existing Paperchase stores in the market will eventually be shut down. WHSmith has since then hired ex-Paperchase employees that worked in buying and merchandising. Reportedly, WHSmith will “expand its stationery ranges in stores near where Paperchase used to operate.”

In the last couple years, how has the brand health of the two companies compared?

According to YouGov BrandIndex - which tracks consumer sentiment towards thousands of brands daily - both retailers’ brand health has dropped January 2021 onwards. WHSmith’s Index score - which is an overall measure of brand health, made up of General Impression, Customer Satisfaction, Quality, Value, Corporate Reputation and Recommendation - dipped two points between 1 January 2021 and 7 March 2023.

Paperchase’s Index metric recorded a steeper decline than WHSmith’s, dropping four points from a net score of 15 on 1 January 2021 to 11 on 7 March 2023.

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. WHSmith and Paperchase’s Index score is an average of Impression, Value, Reputation, Satisfaction and Recommendation scores for the brand and delivered as a net score between -100 and +100. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 6457/6448 British adults between 1 January 2021 and 7 March 2023. Figures are based on a 12-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.

YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

Photo by Cinthia Becher on Unsplash