Update W Hs Mith Review – Aylesbury WH Smith rubbish pile Shell Calls have been made to clean up the UK retailer’s ‘disgusting’ delivery area after residents in Bucks said they were ‘shocked’ by the amount of rubbish which had piled up there.
Local residents criticized WHSmith after finding piles of rubbish strewn around the delivery section at the back of the Aylesbury flagship store.
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Photos from the retailer’s private car park show empty bottles and smashed cans among containers, a wooden box and a large electrical appliance.
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People have since described the scene as “nothing short of disgraceful”, with one advising the retailer to ensure other stores are not in the same situation.
“@WHSmith your delivery location at the back of your store in Aylesbury town center is simply disgraceful,” the commenter wrote. “I’m shocked he’s in the condition he is.”
Another responded saying: “To be honest @WHSmith you should be really ashamed of yourself and the store manager [has] a good chat with him.”
“How the hell can your store be so…disgusting. Just [because it’s behind, it’s not good. uncomfortable. Take a look at our other stores.
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Another person wrote: “Spotted this last week but didn’t know it was @WHSmith – thought it was [an] abandoned shop.”
In response, a WHSmith spokesperson said: “Our Aylesbury store is liaising with the local authority and estate agents to address the ongoing community issue of pollution in the delivery section of the store. we are getting ready to remove the garbage as soon as possible. , Journey
In this supplement, courtesy of The Ashton Review of Shops, we take a look at WHSmith’s turmoil and wonder if there is a way out.
It’s safe to say that at some point in our lives, we Brits have had something to do with W.H. Smith and Sons in more ways than one. Indirectly, we deliver newspapers and magazines through a network of wholesale kiosks. For example, in Tameside the nearest branches were in Bradbury and Oldham.
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A WHSmith kiosk is our leisurely holiday read. No long train journey is complete without a magazine or comic from their branches at Manchester Piccadilly station and many more on the National Rail network. At some point, the presence (or lack thereof) of your magazine on the shelves can affect the success of your title.
An example can be seen in the creation of Future Publishing, whose rise to global dominance began life with a cassette placed on the cover.
Magazine. The sale of this cassette magazine on the shelves of WHSmith marked a turning point in the fortunes of Chris Anderson’s company. In the pre-Internet era, number one sales on the nation’s newsstands were vital to the success of any publication. It was the dead tree equivalent of getting your single on the Radio One playlist.
As the Christmas edition hit the shelves, modern life hasn’t been too kind to WHSmith. The print circulation of our newspapers has declined dramatically as more and more people get their news online. in 1985 more than 2.5 million copies were sold
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Sold: today only half a million are sold each day. Any stationery that could be bought in WHSmith 35 years ago can be bought cheaper in supermarkets and online retailers. And similar quality.
The most striking reflection of WHSmith’s recent fortunes is the underinvestment in its stores. Sales at downtown stores declined, although the airport, freeway service area and train station branches kept the company afloat.
Then came the coronavirus and the move to working from home. This has resulted in reduced demand for rail and air services. The government could also share some of the blame for its anti-bus messaging – despite bus companies’ efforts to keep the fleet cleaner than your front room. Due to the lack of demand for public transport and scheduled flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WHSmith has been hit hard.
At the height of the lockdown, most of its stores were closed. Those that remained open (initially with limited hours) were those that had been granted a concession by the Post Office (including its branches at Ashton-under-Lyne, Altrincham and Oldham). WHSmith followed suit after the government allowed “non-essential” stores to reopen, but shoppers did not return in droves.
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Back in 1985 WHSmith stores were mainly decorated in orange, beige and brown colors with an orange rectangular WHSmith logo and sans-serif typography. It had an air of exclusivity, formality, permanence, but permanence. Despite its paternalistic attitude, it was a welcoming place that kept up with the times. Their largest stores included computer software departments along with disk departments.
Like its High Street rivals, WHSmith advertised heavily in national newspapers. Their full page adverts would run alongside Boots and Woolworths adverts. If you wanted something for school, their art supplies and math sets will compare to the best Winsor and Newton or Helix products.
WHSmith then had an interest in The Arts Channel, an early cable channel that ran several hours a day. With Swindon’s pioneering cable TV and WHSmith having its offices in the same town, it seemed perfect. They also owned the hardware store chain Do It All before it sold its half stake to Boots. They had enough buying power and distribution to publish their books.
Where have things gone wrong in the last 35 years? In most medium-sized towns, WHSmith was the town’s main bookshop, where it coexisted with independent bookshops. One of WHSmith’s greatest achievements has benefited all booksellers, large and small. This was the standard SBN book numbering scheme, which we know today as the ISBN (“I” for international) system.
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Moving our story forward to 2020, the chain store has a reputation for carpet rather than innovative approaches to bookselling. Why, you might ask, was it lost among buyers?
In 1982 Former WHSmith director Tim Waterstone founded his eponymous booksellers. Waterstones became a byword for quality, which broadened the horizons of many bibliophiles. WHSmith was considered a mass market bookseller, albeit with a healthy selection of non-fiction and fiction books. WHSmith responded by buying Sherratt and Hughes and finally in 1993 Waterstones.
The biggest change was the abolition of the Net Book contract, which ensured that book prices were not affected by market forces. It also helped authors and independent bookstores. We lost many independent bookshops across the UK shortly after it was abolished. The timing of its takedown couldn’t be much worse, as a certain little site started selling books and a few other knick-knacks. (You know what we’re talking about here, and you don’t need Alexa to give you the answer).
WHSmith’s response was to focus a little more on its core business: newspapers, bestsellers and stationery. in 1996 they sold their 50% stake in Do It All to Focus DIY. By 1998 they sold Waterstones to The HMV Group and bought the John Menzies chain. This gave WHSmith a greater retail presence in Scotland and parts of the North of England. The sale did not affect Menzies’ newsstand wholesale business.
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While station kiosks, hospital kiosks, and airport stores have grown to date, two market approaches have influenced the bookstore. The bookshop trade, led by Waterstones and independent shops, and the value book trade, are based on quality. The last field is occupied by The Works, where some otherwise out-of-print books are sold at low prices. On the other hand, chain stores sell best sellers at much lower prices because of their purchasing power.
Amazon.com seems to occupy the middle ground with its extensive catalog and good prices. At one point this was the middle ground that WHSmith ran until the Net Book contract was cancelled.
While traveling in the UK I have noticed that the WHSmith brand is inconsistent. Their more modest Manchester store, next door to their previous branch in the Arndale Centre, is pretty neat. My nearest one still has John Menzies carpet in varying degrees of cleanliness.
As for the shelves, I remember them being tidy at every branch I called. Deficiencies in quality control are more related to head office downsizing. Using my local store as an example, they seem to have more staff in their mail than in the entire store.
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Whether it’s related to the workforce or the cleanliness of the shop floor, a negative experience is not good for business. At their previous store in Manchester, I was invited to use the till to pay for a magazine instead of waiting at the till. I put the magazine back on the shelf and went elsewhere.
My personal experience has been indifferent at worst. In most cases, fine, but
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