WHSmith voted UK's worst high street store

WHSmith voted UK's worst high street store

Yet again, WHSmith has been voted the worst high street store in the UK. Customers scored the chain at just 50% in an annual consumer group survey carried out by Which?.

Consumers complained that the chain was consistently “cramped and messy”, and claimed it was very poor value for money. WHSmith responded to the results saying: “This survey accounts for the views of only 586 Which? subscribers and is neither statistically relevant nor meaningful relative to our loyal customer base.

“Every week we serve 3 million customers in our 600 UK high street stores and have maintained our presence on the high street where many other retailers are closing stores. We work hard to improve customer experiences and continue to invest in new and existing stores.”

Close behind WHSmith were brands such as Sports Direct, with customers describing it as having an “oppressive atmosphere”, and Homebase which was condemned for being tough to navigate.

Specialist retailers topped the list, being praised for their customer experience in-store. Richer Sounds came top of the list, customers commended them for helping carry goods to their cars and even paying for parking. In second place was Rohan (a travel and outdoor equipment chain), and third was John Lewis, customers felt that the chain was reliable and trustworthy.

Editor of Which? Magazine, Harry Rose said: “Worries about the future of the high street aren’t going away anytime soon, but it’s clear that there is still demand from shoppers for the experience and services offered by physical stores that can’t always be replicated online.

“Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever if brands want to thrive on the high street. Our findings go to show that, if retailers can deliver great value, quality products and first-class customer service, customers will keep coming back.”

The top ten high street retailers according to the survey:

  1. Richer Sounds
  2. Rohan
  3. John Lewis
  4. Hotter Shoes,
  5. Lakeland
  6. Toolstation
  7. Apple
  8. Bodycare
  9. Crew
  10. Screwfix


The worst-rated stores are:

  1. WHSmith
  2. Homebase
  3. Sports Direct
  4. JD Sports
  5. River Island
  6. New Look
  7. House of Fraser
  8. Peacocks
  9. Clinton Cards


Emma Richardson