WHSmith is a valued member of communities across the UK, and we are committed to making a positive impact wherever we operate our stores. Through our work to champion literacy and support good causes, our community programme enables us to contribute to local areas. We also want to provide customers with an opportunity to support their favourite charities through the products we sell.
WHSmith has a store on 399 of the top 400 high streets in the UK, as well as many smaller towns. We recognise that our business plays an important role in local communities up and down the country and we are committed to supporting those communities and helping to maintain a vibrant retail environment.
As the UK’s leading bookseller and stationer, literacy remains the primary focus of our community programmes. Research findings consistently conclude that children who read for pleasure have better life chances, and promoting the love of reading is therefore the over-arching objective behind our literacy programmes.
WHSmith continues to support a broad range of charities through the products we sell. This is particularly popular at Christmas time when we offer a range of Christmas cards for charities including Help for Heroes and Macmillan Cancer Support, gifts such as our Adopt an Animal range, and calendars. This year, we sold the exclusive Countryfile calendar in aid of BBC Children in Need, a product which proved very popular with customers.
We set and achieve an annual target to invest at least one per cent of our pre-tax profits in support of charities and community projects. We use the London Benchmarking Group’s (LBG) reporting model to calculate our community contributions which provides a standardised way of managing and measuring corporate community engagement.