Market entry into Greece for Miller Retail

Miller Retail, in partnership with WHSmith, has been awarded a five year contract for the operation of seven stores in Athens International Airport, the main airport in Greece (c.18.1m passengers in 2015). This contract is an extension of the partnership that is already in place between the two companies in Malta.

The stores will offer a broad range of products tailored to the needs of passengers on the move, with a wide range of Greek and international newspapers, magazines and books, as well as confectionery, souvenirs, digital accessories and travel essentials.

The opening of these stores gives WHSmith its first presence in Greece and for Miller is a further development to its press and magazine distribution business. All of the stores will be refitted following a transition period from the current operator and will bring a premium, design-focused contemporary look and feel to the airport. The store designs will reflect the principles of the recent and planned refurbishments of the overall airport terminal and will include the relocation of two of the existing stores and the conversion to the WHSmith brand of the remaining five stores.

WHSmith International Chairman, Louis de Bourgoing, said “securing the contract for the stores in Athens is another key milestone in our European development strategy. It follows recent contract wins in Alicante Airport and Dusseldorf Airport. We have worked closely with our partners at Miller and with the commercial team at Athens International Airport to deliver a high standard of design for these stores and provide a real step-change to the traditional ‘news and books’ operations. We look forward to working with AIA to deliver a truly compelling offer to passengers travelling through the airport.”

Miller Distributors Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Miller, said ‘’this is an exciting development for our Retail business. With the strong upturn in tourism in Greece and the gradual improvement in the economy, these stores will offer customers an improved experience in travel retail, both in range and presentation. The strong branding and latest eye catching refits from WHSmith will be an important factor and we aim to provide similar sales growth that has resulted from our WHSmith conversions in Malta. Together with AIA and WHSmith, our teams are coordinating closely together to deliver these seven store conversions in time for next Easter, which is the start of the 2017 tourist season.’’