Stressed-out Britain is going crazy for colouring books

Stressed-out Britons are turning to colouring books for peace of mind.

That may not be good for the future mental health of our society, but it is great for booksellers such as WHSmith.

The company had a bumper Christmas off the back of sales of calming colouring books.

Here’s the statement from Wednesday’s trading update:

“In High Street, we had good like-for-like sales growth over the key Christmas period, driven by the ‘colour therapy’ phenomenon, our seasonal offer and strong promotions in stationery. In Travel, we continue to benefit from the impact of our growth initiatives and the improvement in passenger numbers.

“As a result of the strong sales performance in High Street over the 5 week Christmas period, we expect profit growth for the year to be slightly ahead of plan.”

Like-for-like sales were up 2% and total sales up 4% for the 20 weeks ending January 16.

The colouring book craze has taken hold in Britain. Amazon, the online retailer, has an entire shopping category devoted to adult colouring books, where the over-stressed can fill in Benedict Cumberbatch‘s face with colour:

Or while away the hours on a map:

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