WHSmith to recruit 3,000 in expansion

Retail group WHSmith is recruiting around 3,000 staff for a major store
opening programme.

The chain is phasing in the jobs over the next three years as it expands its
network with 120 new stores.

Despite the current economic downturn, the company is adding new staff to
its 20,000-strong workforce, creating the full spectrum of retail positions.

Alex Nairn, people director at WHSmith, said, "It is very pleasing and
it shows the confidence we have in the company. It also sends a clear message
to our staff that will boost morale."

The move goes ahead despite an 8 per cent drop in pre-tax profits this year,
mainly due to a weak magazine market.

The firm is also looking to branch out from its traditional offering by
opening some stores away from the high street and including additional services
like coffee shops and video systems.

The company will use a full range of recruitment methods to tackle the tight
labour market.

"Recruiting in the retail market is challenging. There is less
unemployment so attracting people is all about your reputation as an employer
and brand.

"We are using lots of recruitment methods but primarily job centres and
local press. For the type of work we are looking at we have also found that
word of mouth is a very powerful tool."

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