WHSmith continues curi-o-city expansion with Belfast City Airport store

By Benedict Evans |

WHSmith travel

WHSmith first launched curi.o.city in 2023, with the concept expanding to 23 locations across the UK and internationally.

WHSmith has officially opened curi.o.city, its specialty retail format, in Belfast City Airport. The launch marks the first curi.o.city to open in Northern Ireland and is the eighth WHSmith owned store across the UK travel retail market.

The retailer currently operates stores across key travel locations including Belfast Victoria Station, Belfast International Airport, and Belfast City Airport, which has also recently refurbished its airside WHSmith store into a one-stop-shop format.

In the UK, further curi.o.city stores can be found in London Gatwick Airport, Bristol Airport, St Pancras Station and Selfridges in Birmingham and Manchester.

WHSmith says as part of its strategy to enter new markets and scale the group’s retail formats, it has opened two standalone stores in the UAE and 15 concessions within Al Maya’s border stores across the Middle East.

Andrew Harrison, Managing Director WHSmith Travel said: “Since launching curi.o.city last year we’ve had great feedback from customers, and we’re delighted to start offering our ranges of high quality stationery and localised gifting and souvenirs to the travelling customers of Belfast City Airport for the first time.

The growth of curi.o.city shows how WHSmith can adapt and innovate to create strong new, bespoke brands and retail formats and we’ve been pleased with progress to date and excited about what’s next.”

curi-o-city

A recent expansion to Dubai and Qatar marks the first time the store has found itself a home outside of the UK.

The retailer also recently delivered four store refurbishments across multiple different formats including in: WHSmith Gatwick South; WHSmith Bookshop in Bristol Airport; WHSmith in Glasgow Central Station and an M&S Food in Plymouth Derriford Hospital.

Curi.o.city stores are stocked with a range of gifts, stationery and souvenirs, as well as locally sourced products which reflect the culture of the locale.

In the new Belfast City Airport store for example, a handmade miniature wooden model of the Samson and Goliath gantry cranes which pepper the Belfast city skyline is available for purchase.

Michael Jackson, Head of Commercial at Belfast City Airport, added: “At Belfast City Airport, we are passionate about supporting local suppliers and giving our passengers a choice of high-quality products.

“We look forward to working in partnership with curi.o.city to enhance the range of retail options available at Belfast City Airport and to deliver an airport shopping experience that celebrates some of the best of Northern Ireland.”

READ MORE: WHSmith opens three new doors at Denver International Airport

READ MORE: WHSmith North America opens ChiBoys shop at Chicago O’Hare

READ MORE: WHSmith’s curi.o.city stores gain international home in Dubai and Qatar

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