WHSmith steps foot into Calgary with three stores selling electronics and gifts

By Luke Barras-hill |

WHSmith North Americas intends to bring more stores to YYC.

WHSmith North America has entered a new market in Canada’s Calgary with a trio of shop openings at Calgary International Airport (YYC).

Elbow River Exchange, Frontier Provisions and InMotion offer travelling shoppers a selection of gifting, souvenir and electronics products in environments that pay tribute to the city in Alberta province.

The travel retailer says it intends to announce more doors at YYC later this year.

Frontier Provisions is a nod to Alberta’s expansive prairies and vistas and sells a curated assortment of products, from books and electronics to gifts and souvenirs, plus grab-and-go F&B options.

Airport electronics retailer InMotion carries the latest gadgets and products from brands such as Apple, Beats, Bose, Sony and JBL.

Mural pays homage to indigenous culture

Meanwhile, Elbow River Exchange recognises the Elbow River and the indigenous heritage within the Calgary area with the point of sale typifying the airport’s thematic messaging of ‘Indigenous People – Our Community Today’, celebrating the cultural significance of indigenous peoples through their historical and contemporary contributions.

Elbow River Exchange merchandises an array of products such as reading materials, electronics, snacks, bottled beverages, local gifts, souvenirs and travel essentials.

The store’s design boasts an impressive mural from indigenous artist Keegan Starlight of the Tsuut’ina Nation.

On 22 March, Starlight, airport officials and WHSmith North America executives, including CEO Toby Keir, Divisional Vice President of Business Development Alea LaRocque, and Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Simon Ellison, gathered at Elbow River Exchange to unveil the mural.

“This project was a perfect fit for our company’s mission, which is to create thoughtful and unique shopping experiences for travellers that reflect the essence of each city we enter,” said Keir.

“Having the opportunity to share the story and history of Calgary with one of our first concepts to enter the market has been an honour. We are thankful to our partners at Calgary Airport Authority, Keegan Starlight, and all our local vendors for their work bringing this concept to life.”

Elbow River Exchange recognises the Elbow River and the indigenous heritage within the Calgary area, with the store typifying the airport’s thematic messaging of ‘Indigenous People – Our Community Today’.

“Unveiling this commissioned piece from Keegan Starlight alongside the opening of Elbow River Exchange is an incredible way to kick-off our exciting new partnership with WHSmith,” said Chris Niergarth, Calgary Airport Authority’s General Manager of Commercial & Retail Development.

“Introducing this international retail leader, WHSmith, to the Calgary market is a privilege, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our collaboration. With their support, YYC is thrilled to showcase a talented local artist and uplift creators in our own community, all while providing guests with excellent retail options for their travel essentials.”

All images courtesy of WHSmith North America/Joe Stephenson and Darren Ballingall.


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