WH Smith ranked as UK’s worst High Street retailer

The British public have voted WH Smith as the worst retailer on the UK High Street.

A survey of over 10,000 consumers found that WH Smith shops are considered to be expensive, out-of-date and rude.

WH Smith has placed at the bottom two of the consumer watchdog’s survey for eight years in a row.

One customer told Which?: ‘I find WH Smith very expensive and its stores need updating.’ While another consumer said: ‘I always use the self-service tills because the staff are rude.’

The entrance of a WH Smith shop. Photo by Thomas Nugent, CC BY-SA 2.0

The retailers that came out in top were Lush, Savers and Smyths Toys. According to the survey, consumers liked the scents and atmosphere of Lush stores, the prices at Savers, and the ‘friendly and cheerful’ staff at Smyths Toys.

John Lewis, which came in joint-third place in 2017, dropped to 10th place this year – its worst ranking since the survey launched in 2010.

The scores were based on how satisfied customers are with a shop and how likely they are to recommend it to a friend.

The retailers that were highly ranked offered their customers that online rivals generally couldn’t, such as sensory experiences, first-class customer service and help with choosing products.

The top-rated High Street retailers were:

  1. Lush, Savers, Smyths Toys
  2. Screwfix, Toolstation
  3. Bodycare, Richer Sounds
  4. The Perfume Shop, Waterstones
  5. The Body Shop, Dunelm, Ikea, John Lewis

The worst-rated High Street retailers were:

  1. WH Smith
  2. Clintons
  3. Evans, Sports Direct
  4. Homebase/Bunnings
  5. Toys R Us/Babies R Us (since closed down), JD Sports
  6. Dorothy Perkins/Burton, Halfords (including Cycle Republic), Miss Selfridge, Ryman