Whistlestop was acquired by Compass last year, and is run as an independently managed business by retail and travel arm Select Service Partner. SSP rail division MD Tony Keating said the company had originally targeted railway stations, airports and coach stations inside the M25, but was now widening its net to include sites in more unusual locations across the country. The 32-strong chain now extends as far as Leeds, York and Sheffield, said Keating.
"If it can work in London's Charing Cross, there's no reason why it wouldn't work in Newcastle or Glasgow. Whistlestop is ideal for high transit sites of between 500 and 1,500 sq ft. Our sales per square foot are extremely high."
The first Whistlestop site at a military base is under construction at RAF Henlow as part of a new MoD one-stop shop featuring a catering, leisure and retail offer under one roof. SSP is also looking for opportunities to develop its Stopgap retail format.