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WH Smith Targets Russian Airports In Expansion

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Retailer WH Smith plans to open its first airport stores in Russia next year as part of its broader global expansion plans.

The company is targeting airports to kick-start its expansion on the Russian market, with the help of local partners, Yulia Sokolova, a leasing director at Knight Frank, told reporters.

Russia has been attracting international retailers seeking exposure to growing markets amid sluggish sales in much of Europe, with consistently rising disposable incomes and a population of 143 million underlying the country's appeal.

WH Smith, which operates more than 1,100 newspaper, books and stationery stores, primarily in Britain, said in April that it plans to expand internationally, focusing on new shops at travel hubs and in growing overseas markets that are helping to offset weakness in Britain.

(Reuters)