Whsmith

  www.whsmith.co.uk
  www.whsmith.co.uk

Whsmith Reviews

Updated November 18, 2014
Updated November 18, 2014
86 Reviews
2.6
86 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Whsmith CEO and Director Kate Swann
Kate Swann
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Friendly, good customers, challenging busy environment (in 3 reviews)

  • A regular occurrence was for our shop to be staffed entirely by part time students all under the age of 21 for a whole or day or two at a time (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Time-off, pay is low for the hard work and effort employees put in (in 6 reviews)

  • Heating broke 5 years ago and was never fixed in the store I worked in, it was very very cold in winter (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Sales assistant in high street shop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Inverness, Scotland (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Inverness, Scotland (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    good staff base, relatively easy job. good customer face to face expierience. gained a lot of confidence and new friends

    Cons

    i was working at the weekends and at school during the week, social life took its toll.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    promotions at til point need to be watched. a lot of the time we were asking the customer that many questions at the til that it made it hard to put a good customer service slide on things. one is fine but more than two questions seems excessive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    WHSmith, Sales Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The work is varied which means you never really have the same day, you meet a lot of nice customers and the staff are also very friendly. I worked here quite young which meant I didn't really have a clue what I was doing however it is easy to get the hang of.

    Cons

    The systems are quite tempermental which can get you some grief from customers, the 1p bag thing came about when I worked there and that really didn't go down well as well as the 10p ones they try and encourage.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Wish I had stayed on the dole

    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Chester, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Chester, England (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    When other members of staff were on holiday or sick I got a decent amount of hours

    Cons

    Despite helping out when the store was in need due to prolonged abscence on behalf of other staff members and never ringing in sick for 3 years I was never rewarded a full time contract which the company could easily have afforded.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do away with this flexable hours rubbish and hire people the old fashioned way with a 40 hour contract it is a better way to treat people!

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  5.  

    Poor pay, no progression path.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Guildford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Guildford, England (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The only plus side to my time with this company was the flexibility of hours - I was at college at the time and could quite easily fit in shifts around my studies.

    Cons

    The chance of progression was non-existant; no training past basic 'sales assistant' was ever offered. No staff discount, extremely poor pay (minimum wage).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide a development course for your employees, i.e. to supervisor/store manager. Increase pay for all staff. Implement a staff discount. Increase staff morale via activities such as money toward a meal out for a store team once a year or so. Make your staff PROUD to work for you; I, and almost al my colleagues, certainly weren't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Low pay, no benefits depressing working conditions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Maidenhead, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Maidenhead, England (UK)

    I have been working at Whsmith part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun team, quite good at giving out overtime, my manager was a nice guy.

    Cons

    Low pay, most of their shops are in a pretty bad state. They have very low staff budgets so most of the time there is barley anyone on the shop floor leading to large queues and a huge workload. Pressured into offering £1 chocolates to every customer. You do get 12 percent off books and stationery but no discount off anything else, e.g. drinks sweets. No other benefits either. Over the last 3 years they have installed energy efficient lighting which leaves the stores very dim and almost every customer complains about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve stores, get better lighting. Increase pay and employee benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    The most boring job I have ever had, lack of equipment and training also made it more difficult.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Newcastle upon Tyne, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Newcastle upon Tyne, England (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    It's a job, if you need a little extra money and are happy to work for minimum wage, work here.

    Cons

    Lack of training, was constantly being pushed to work far more than my contracted hours even though I told them I was a busy full time student, lack of equipment such as sticker machines that I needed to do my job, isolation in job role.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I was once shouted at in front of other staff for being late for the first time in 2 months, even though according to my watch (and everyone else's) I was on time - pretty demoralizing and embarrassing. Get uniforms that actually fit, not XXL. Lose the sticker pricing system, it's stupid, it seems like senior staff are just guessing guessing prices and offers to stick to stuff. Properly train staff and show them where things are in the store so they can answer customers questions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good store but bad management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Southampton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Southampton, England (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Store only open 9 hours per day.
    Friendly coworkers

    Cons

    Everything is performance based. (You HAVE to give everyone the vouchers, you HAVE to sell a certain amount of chocolate, you HAVE to sell so many reusable bags) No praise when it goes well but you are quick to here about it when it goes wrong
    Everything is budgeted. Hours are budgeted, spending is budgeted, profit and loss is budgeted.
    Nothing ever gets fixed, again due to budget. We had no hot water, broken lights, broken toilets, broken shelving, broken air-con, broken drinks chiller, stands falling apart, threadbare carpets, the list goes on.
    Lack of overtime, very understaffed
    Bad management:Bad attitude and very little support in store. Also always off to meetings or spending the day upstairs on telephone conferences.
    The clientèle (Posh people, only they will pay the ridiculous prices)
    Customers who complain about everything.
    The pay (Minimum wage) with a small supplement for key holders (talking in pence per week)
    News/Mags and all the rigmarole that goes with it. (Weekly stock checks, PIM's)
    All the abbreviations that everyone else in the store uses and you don't find out what it means for ages (i.e. SCR, BBSC, WIGIG)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get proper training for staff
    Have enough money in order for things to be fixed.
    Get the managers on the shop floor, not in their little office away from the general public.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Working for any company is a challenge

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Uxbridge, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Uxbridge, England (UK)

    I have been working at Whsmith part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Getting different challenges and no 2 days are the same enjoy working with some staff

    Cons

    Having to take and put up with some customers who complain with the self serve tills why we have to them in the first place is a joke also getting told that we as staff would be out of a job. I also get annoyed about getting asked from management how many Tpc,s have you done or how many sharpie pens have you done. Most customers aren't interested

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Would like someone to come down and see what we as actual staff have to put up

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Not enough hours, a lot of work for minimum wage.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Fareham, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Fareham, England (UK)

    I worked at Whsmith full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free stuff every now and again

    Cons

    cut hours, not enough staff, under appreciated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My store manager was very good and he understood that moral was low due to a lot of cuts. But upper management need to understand that if the staff have nothing to work for they are not going to stick around. I was with the company for 5 years, no chance of moving up, no pay increase that wasn't mandatory. The staff are the best thing about working at whsmiths, they are like family. Everyones in the same boat and everyone works hard to make up for the lack of staff and busy periods.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Make sure they pay you correctly!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant

    I worked at Whsmith part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good supportive culture and training.

    Cons

    I was underpaid every month, I shouldn't have to fight for the money I've earnt every month.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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