WHSmith caters to children with Zoodle concept

By Charlotte Turner |

WHSmith has opened two new Zoodle children’s stores, at Manchester airport; the first of their kind in the UK. WHSmith opened its first ever dedicated children’s stores, under the brand name Zoodle by WHSmith, in Melbourne Airport’s international departures area in December last year.


The new stores, one opened on Sunday and the second opens on Thursday 7 February, will cater to younger travellers [a demographic that has been ignored by many airports and travel retailers – Ed].


The brand says that the stores “have been created with the young traveller in mind, with a bright store environment, making it fun and inviting for all children, and the perfect one-stop-shop for family searching for a great gift for their youngster”.


News of the stores comes shortly after TRBusiness.com reported that Wizz’s first European store at Dublin Airports is performing above target according to Dubai-based parent company Retail Concepts. The gifts, gadgets and toys retailer now hopes for a permanent position at the gateway.



Zoodle by WHSmith will offer selection of children’s books, a wide range of stationery collections, toys and games, gifts and gadgets as well as a range of treats and snacks.


[Left: Interior shot of Zoodle store at Melbourne airport]


WHSmith Travel Chief Operating Officer, Simon Smith said, “We are delighted to be opening our first Zoodle by WHSmith stores in the UK at Manchester Airport, just before half term and well ahead of the Summer peak. We are very much looking forward to providing children and their families with everything they need before they fly.”


According to Manchester Airport, it became the third largest airport in the UK behind Heathrow and Gatwick during 2012 and passenger numbers have been on the rise over the last year. 2013 is expected to see Manchester break the 20m passenger mark again.


Beth Brewster, Retail Director for MAG, owners of Manchester Airport, said: “This is the type of innovative approach we take to retail at our airports and when WHSmith suggested launching this brand in our airports, we were naturally keen to pursue it further.


“I know our younger customers are going to really enjoy it and from the feedback we receive we know that passengers want to have more child-friendly products while they’re waiting for their flights, so Zoodle certainly fits into that category.”


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