Who is the worst retailer on the high street?

21 May 2014

whsmith Which is the worst shop on the high street? According to a survey by Which!!!, everybody doesn't hate Raymond, but rather, WH Smith.

Over 12,500 consumers rated their favourite shops, based on price, service, products and after sales/returns and general satisfaction and things like 'would you recommend it to a friend?' and all that.

Sitting at the top of the pile, remarkably, you can find Lush. The cosmetics company came top of the same list in 2012 and finished second last year. Even though you can smell a Lush shop from a mile away and walking past one makes your eyes piss, it seems everyone adores the place.

It was praised for its personal touch, as well as having lovely staff and everyone seems to like the try-before-you-buy service and free demonstrations.

Meanwhile, the runt of the pack was WH Smith, bottom for a second year in a row, with everyone moaning about "crowded stores with limited stock". Dreadful typeface on the logo too. Not like the fancy old one. Elsewhere, Apple - who topped the table last year - slid down to 13th. It seems everyone has a gripe with how difficult it is to book an appointment at the 'Genius Bar'. Homebase and HMV saw massive indifference too.

WH Smith weren't happy and said in a statement: "This exercise is very misleading as WH Smith does not fit into any of the survey categories, while products like newspapers and magazines are not those that customers would 'recommend' a retailer for. The 104 customers that commented on WH Smith in this survey are not reflective of the 12 million customers that visit our stores each week, where our own independent survey of over a thousand customers continues to rate us highly."

Which!!! editor Richard Headland said: "We've seen time and again that people won't settle for bad customer service and this is supported by the results of our survey. Stores giving people the care and attention they want have happy customers who return."

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • jo
    The last 3 times I've been in there in the past couple of years I've been disappointed so I'm not at all surprised. I bought a photo keyring that was on one of their promotions which did not work unless plugged into a computer rendering it useless, and later found that negative reviews for it were flooded over the internet- whsmith refused to refund me as the item had been opened, even though it was not as described and didnt work. The next time I bought a CD cover printing kit only to find half the kit missing. After going back to the store the assistant was unwilling to help. The 3rd time I bought some stickers which scanned at more than double the price indicated on the display and I thus could have got cheaper in The Works store next door. Also, my local whsmith has a post office that always rips you off wherever possible. For example, if you have a large letter they pick it up from one end to try and put it though the large letter slot but the manner in which they roughly handle it forces the contents from being flat to all bunching up at the bottom of the package. Of course after theyve done that it's fat at one end and empty at the other and theres no way to get it though the 'large letter' slot other than to go back home and re-package it again, which usually isnt worth the time. Thus you end up over twice the cost for 'small/medium parcel' for an item which should easily have gone large letter if not for the apparent stupid protocol of shooshing the contents to the end of the parcel. Thus have not been in there since.
  • Billybobjimbob
    More power to Lush - at least their shops inject a little fun into shopping. In fact I'd love to see them put the smug hypocritical shits at Body Shop right out of business.
  • Andy
    I get some idea that working in customer service, you need to know 150 languages, have PHD's coming out of your arse, have master communication skills, have Master Degree counselling skills and be willing to work for one, low, low price. Plus you got to be willing to accept other people mistakes and willing to take the blame for anything, regardless how stupid your customer is being. Plus if you decide to move on to bigger and better thing, shame on you. You are putting your own needs above the almighty customer. Plus you got have no emotions at all, except happiness and be constantly drugged up with Neurochemicals for happiness, while not been effected by abuse, customers bullying you, threats and bad language, as you have not feelings expect happiness and unable to relate to other people or have feeling or empathy towards them. All you can feel is happiness, regardless of the situation, if some one is screaming at you or someone is in real need of help, you can't feel towards them, just feel happiness.

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