Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
London and Swindon
Retail Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Retail Sale Of Cultural And Recreation Goods In Specialised Stores
47.62 - Retail sale of newspapers and stationery in specialised stores

1,850 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
2 July 2020
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


WHSmith, the British newspapers and books retailer has announced plans to cut up to 150 jobs at its head offices in London and Swindon. Redundancy consultations with the affected employees are already underway.

According to media sources, the company proposed the restructure following a review of the business and in preparation for the reduced market demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to the news of the job cuts, a local councillor in Swindon called on the UK government to outline a budget that focuses on protecting and creating jobs.

WHSmith is a UK based retailer of newspapers, magazines, books and stationery, with many of its shops located in railway stations, airports and motorway service stations.

Update 29/08/2020: WH Smith has announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs, 11 per cent of its workforce, across the UK.  The majority of jobs being lost will be at shops at airports and railway stations. The company's chief executive said that sales had not improved as much as expected after the coronavirus restrictions on non essential businesses had been relaxed.

Update 12/11/2020: WHSmith has announced that it will close 35 high street shops across the UK, putting 200 jobs at risk of redundancy. The shop closures are planned in response to the continued negative impact of the coronavirus crisis and the government restrictions on retail. These job losses come on top of the 1,500 previously announced.



Eurofound (2020), WHSmith, Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 101412, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/101412.