W H Smith

related topics
{company, market, business}
{city, large, area}
{work, book, publish}
{film, series, show}
{group, member, jewish}
{@card@, make, design}
{son, year, death}
{album, band, music}
{woman, child, man}
{build, building, house}

WH Smith plc (LSE: SMWH) (known colloquially as Smith's) is a British retailer, headquartered in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. It is best known for its chain of high street, railway station, airport, hospital and motorway service station shops selling books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, and entertainment products. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. It has been an innovative company, being the first chain store company in the world and was responsible for the creation of the ISBN book catalogue system.

Contents

History

Formation

In 1792, Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna established the business as a news vendor in Little Grosvenor Street, London.[2] After their deaths, the business — valued in 1812 at £1,280 — was taken over by their youngest son William Henry Smith, and in 1846 the firm became W H Smith & Son when his only son, also William Henry, became a partner.[3] The firm took advantage of the railway boom by opening newsstands on railway stations, starting with Euston in 1848.[3] In 1850 the firm opened depots in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.[3] The younger W H Smith used the success of the firm as a springboard into politics, becoming an MP in 1868[3] and serving as a minister in several Conservative governments.[3]

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