WH Smith voted the worst shop on the high street

WH Smith has been voted the worst shop on the high street in a study which describes it as “messy and expensive”.

Apple - with American-style service and bright, stylish stores came out on top of the list of 100 UK retailers.

In the Which? survey of 11,000 consumers the brand's 37 stores were described as having “great atmosphere and products” and “excellent” and “knowledgeable” staff.


It was joined at the bottom of the list by a newcomer to the high street - mobile phone shop EE - which was created by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.

TK Maxx and camping shop Millets also came out low on the list.

Lush, rated the best shop last year, came in second, whilst The Disney Store, Richer Sounds and Bon Marché were also highly rated bvy shoppers.

John Lewis slipped out of the top five for the first time, but “it still tops five out of eight individual categories - including best department store”, Which? said.

Dissatisfaction with WH Smith is not new, and it has been one of the lowest-rated shops for the last four years.

Retail expert Mary Portas has described it as a “dump” which she “truly hates” shopping in.


Sales in its shops fell by 5 per cent in the six months to the end of February, but profits actually rose 5 per cent to £69 million.

Bosses have introduced a string of cost cutting measures and the company holds a near-monopoly in hundreds of railway stations, leading to admiration in the City.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: “Consumers want to support their local stores, but not at any price, so whether they are chains or independent we hope shops do the right thing to keep their customers.”

WH Smith claim that the research is not an “accurate reflection” of the store and is based only on a small number of shoppers. They say their own research indicates high levels of satisfaction.

Which? said: “Our research shows that more than half of shoppers buy more online now than a year ago, but they still visit high street shops more often than shopping centres, retail parks or shopping websites, and over a third still spend more on the high street.

“Shoppers tell us they like to visit shops so they can see and touch the products available, while they buy online because it's cheaper. This may explain how the Apple Store and Lush get it so right on the high street - they both sell distinctive products that are hard to get elsewhere at lower prices, and present them attractively in store in unique ways.“

Company: Bacardi

Founder: Don Facundo Bacardí Massó

Family-owned Bacardi was founded more than 150 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, on February 4, 1862, and employs nearly 6,000 people and sells in more... more 

Company: Bacardi

Founder: Don Facundo Bacardí Massó

Family-owned Bacardi was founded more than 150 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, on February 4, 1862, and employs nearly 6,000 people and sells in more than 150 countries globally. Facundo Bacardí revolutionised rum as a spirit and the rum-making process by creating a smooth, light-bodied spirit – what the world now knows BACARDÍ rum.

(Photo: Company Website)

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Fri, Apr 12, 2013 06:00 BST