Whsmith

  www.whsmith.co.uk
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Whsmith Reviews

Updated August 18, 2014
Updated August 18, 2014
72 Reviews

2.6
72 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

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

  • Lots of shop floor to show our products and wares (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • 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)

  • As a young worker felt like I was treated worse than the older staff and taken advantage off, faced a lot of pressure to agree to overtime (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Excellent first job, fantastic colleagues - in most stores!

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

    Pros

    -This was the perfect first job for me.
    -All of my colleagues were wonderful and friendly - including supervisors and management.
    -Shifts were well suited and flexible for me.
    -Great training.
    -Always something to do - no need to be bored!

    Cons

    -Pay is low and below average for retail.
    -Stores often neglected by senior management creating a bad working environment.
    -Cost cutting means that stores are often understaffed.
    -Lots of pressure to up-sell with quickly increasing targets.
    -Management style and staff morale can differ vastly between stores.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    OK

    Former Employee - Customer Assistant
    Former Employee - Customer Assistant

    Pros

    Nice colleagues, staff discount, working with books

    Cons

    Annoying customers, low pay, not great hours

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Very disappointing for a high street retailer

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

    Pros

    The only benefit of working at WHSmith occurs if you have a rapport with your manager. I was lucky enough to be one of the few staff members to get on with my manager meaning he was entirely flexible with my hours and shifts. That said this was a period of give and take. I had supervisor experience and was willing to work hard in exchange for the shifts that suited me.

    Cons

    WHSmith is a very disappointing work place. Everything feels very disorganised. It is always a struggle to get anything achieved due to understaffing, simple things like uniforms take ages to arrive and there are very few benefits. Whilst there is staff discount, incentives that were paid to the store as a reward for selling certain products were never shared with staff members. Instead it was used to buy things for the store such as hoovers. There is no motivation to work hard

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make more of an effort to connect with staff. There is a distinct feeling in stores that there is a lack of training and care about staff which creates a culture of a careless attitude.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Very demoralising and the management does not recognise the younger, new staff members skills and abilities.

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

    Pros

    The wage rate was above minimum wage and good pay rates. The hours were very flexible at most times.

    Cons

    The main challenge I found when working for WhSmith was the management. They was always praising the older staff members who were of their own age group and have been working there for a long period of time. The management did not recognise the new recruits and younger generations skills and capabilities, for example for the short time I worked at this company, I beat the managements till items sale records and they acknowledged it by taking me off till work and demoting me to the trainee jobs. This lowered my morale and willingness to work for the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They need more encouraging perks for sales and good work and they need to get area managers to check with staff members on how they think the company is being run more often to gain positive criticism to improve the company more rapidly.

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

    Lovely team of people to work with

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

    Pros

    Staff were really friendly and easy to get on with
    I learned a lot while working here and gained a lot of confidence
    The work was good fun and some of the customers were a laugh

    Cons

    Our performance was measured by how many galaxy bars etc we sold. We had to ask every customer if they would like one, which made a lot of customers frustrated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Mixed review, some good some bad :)

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

    Pros

    We are quite a small shop so it is like a family. Since i started this job 8 years ago my coinfidence has grown hugely and I have made contacts that i hope never to lose. Depending on the shop this job can be fairly flexable, I have worked week days and weekends in varying different patterns. Is a very interesting job as you meet so many different people and have the opportunity to hear stories from customers that otherwise may go unheard.

    Cons

    I currently only work saturdays so taking time off can be difficult as there are only 4 of us who work saturdays and this is already to few members of staff. Shop managers also tend to spend a lot of time in the office when we are already short staffed on the shop floor and this makes customer satisfaction extremely difficult to improve. Our week day staff seem to pick and choose the best jobs and leave the more difficult work to be completed on saturdays.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please allow managers to come and help with customers more. We are currently extremely short staffed with no budget for new members of staff and then the manager has to do a large amount of office work on top of this. Also please do not give us an automated till, this would not work for the town that we are in as it is an older, more traditional area and our customers would not use it.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Pleasant but could be improved.

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

    Pros

    Very organised and rotas were always out nice and early. Supportive management and friendly coworkers.
    Customers are usually very happy with the services they get from WHSmiths which makes it a good atmosphere to work in.

    If I gave enough notice then getting time off was not really an issue and my manager was very understanding to my situation as a student and allowed me to have less hours around exam times.

    Daily/weekly/monthly duties were clear and concise.

    Our store won one of the store of the year awards and we had a nice evening out for it, very satisfying and is rewarding for having worked hard. Good mystery customer feedback is always motivating.

    Cons

    As it was a small store I was often the sole employee working during my shifts, this was fine except sometimes it could get stressful during busy times and meant taking a lot of responsibility when dealing with customer inquiries/complaints. Also when closing down at night I would not necessarily get paid for the extra time I stayed if it took longer than planned.

    High prices in the stores mean that most customers have at least a grumble about it when they are paying.

    Also being the only person on shift in the store meant when I needed to use the bathroom I would have to wait til the store was empty for 5 minutes and close down the shutters, not exactly ideal if you're working for at least 7 hours.

    Pay and benefits weren't great compared to what I have experienced with other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes the 'streamline' way this company operates is its downfall as unique requirements for each individual store sometimes get ignored.
    Saving money by cutting down the amount of employees on shift at any given time is not necessarily a good thing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    long time working here...nothing chanched...even salary stayed the same

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Adin Duties  in  Birmingham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Adin Duties in Birmingham, England (UK)

    Pros

    permanent job..nice team..no a lot of trainings..

    Cons

    difficult to survife to many polish peoples working there

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    more chance to career opportunities

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Busy. As I work in a town on weekends its always busy, and mostly the customers are nice but you do get some vile people

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

    Pros

    The best reasons for myself would be the returning customers, you get to know people easily and its nice to meet new people and get to know them so they become regular customers in our shop and each of our staff behind tills all have a favorite customer. Also we have many people with disabilities that come into our shop and its an amazing experience to help them and it makes me personally feel proud.

    Cons

    The challenges are being really busy on a weekend, with being on the shop floor having to deal with returns and having long ques as the customers mostly are not keen on going through self service so we encourage them by offering help but still they can refuse and this builds onto the line and more stress and having to constantly scan your bounce backs and remembering to offer 1p bags or our offers, especially when we are low on staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Tight deadlines, too few staff, and downtrodden shops

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

    Pros

    Able to gain a good experience of retail, as there is often no other staff available, younger employees are able to gain a good opportunity for career progression and to garner experience. 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. (this could also be considered as a con)

    Cons

    Head office impose tight turn around times for setting up new ranges and promotions, and often seem to spend 4 hours setting something up one day for them to change their minds the next. They're shops are an embarrassment to work in, given the poor state of upkeep and repairs, and in many cases stores are left with only 2 members of staff on the premises at one time (often to try and cover more than one floor!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Very poor staff culture within stores. New staff in my store received no training and didn't have basic product knowledge like the ability to distinguish between a biro and a fountain pen. 16 year olds were regularly hired (despite lacking any experience or customer experience skills 1 year into the job) simply to keep costs down. Stores need urgent cash injection in many cases to give them a refresh/renovation and staff need re-training (or trained in the first place in many cases) in the store standards and cleanliness.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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