WH Smith do you a favour by only stocking two travel guides
There's such a thing as too much choice. This rule doesn't seem to apply to pasta sauces or pornography, but it does apply to travel guides. At least according to WH Smith. And after dreaming up some unsubstantiated statistics, we concur - dithering over which travel guide to buy at the airport is the number one reason why people miss their flights. That's a scientific fact.
See, there are simply too many to choose from. And you can never remember which ones you've already bought. So WH Smith are going to do you all a favour, by stocking guide books from just one publisher. Penguin are expected to sign an exclusive deal with WH Smith Travel to stock travel guides in their airport shops. In a nutshell, it means if you want to purchase some reading material for the plane, you'll have the choice of DK's Top 10 guides, and the Rough Guides. And that's it.
As 3 did when they cancelled 3 Like Home, the spin applied is that this is in your best interests. According to The Bookseller, a spokesperson from W H Smith said that trials had indicated the change would make travel guide shopping "easier for the customer", as travellers are "extremely time pressed". Because as we're all aware, buying a travel guide is one of the more difficult scenarios mankind has to contend with. And of course we're extremely time pressed - those three pints of Grolsch aren't going to drink themselves at 8 in the morning, now are they?
So thank you WH Smith, for saving me literally seconds of time by not having to consider which guidebook might be most suitable for me. At least you have my best interests at heart, and you're not benefiting by flooding your shelves with guidebooks bought in bulk at a massive discount, from a publisher that in turn sells more stock and increases its market share. I mean, it's not like the two of you stand to profit during a recession that is biting the publishing industry hard on the arse. Three cheers for WH Smith!