WHSmith Reviews | Glassdoor

WHSmith Reviews

Updated May 26, 2017
303 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Approve of CEO
WHSmith CEO Stephen Clarke
Stephen Clarke
60 Ratings

303 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Nothing , staff discount is rubish (in 11 reviews)

  • friendly staff members who were all easy to get along with (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • hours a week as a deputy manager on very little pay - which worked out less than minimum wage for the hours (in 21 reviews)

  • Low Pay, not a lot of opportunity for progression (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great old brand fighting for survival under a great leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great paternalistic company wrestling with the pressures of online competition and decline of physical book and music sales.

    Cons

    Stores are a mess these days and everything is about cost cutting, so only join them if you are not in it for the money.

    Advice to Management

    Keep going to change business and develop travel retail brands.


  2. "Sales Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly workplace, given a variety of tasks including administrative, flexible when arranging shifts.

    Cons

    Permanent staff members took a lot of breaks, making it difficult to complete daily duties alongside serving customers.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to customer complaints about store layout and have the flexibility to change it accordingly.


  3. "Customer Service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith part-time

    Pros

    The atmosphere is really friendly.

    Cons

    The salary should be higher, as the revenue of this company is really high.

    Advice to Management

    Raise the salary to employees.


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  5. "Good for customers, less so for staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I think WHSmith as a whole provide a good service. They are one of the few stores on the highstreet where art materials and stationary is easily sourced, and provide a good opportunity for school-age children to get what they need. Good variety of books.

    Cons

    As a staff member (for a very short time; I chose to leave) it is an unruly and unwieldy environment. Every inch is packed with product, which while good on an availability standpoint not only allows the store to look messy very quickly if left unchecked, but is akin to playing giant Jenga all day long, trying to fit things in spaces and take things from spaces without causing destruction.

    Advice to Management

    Support your staff, do not push them to handle excess loads on trollies, work free overtime unwillingly (doors locked after close) and so on. Structural changes in terms of reducing excess stock (reduce what is ordered in in relation to sales and store size), staff training, and manageable workloads to encourage experienced staff to stay - all need to be implemented. You work hard but there is a physical and metaphorical structural problem within the company which needs to be addressed before it becomes an enjoyable or reasonable working environment for staff (including yourselves, as you are overloaded just the same.)


  6. "Accountant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accountant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Accountant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good culture, good teams, flexible working, focus on employee engagement and access to all levels of management. Social company, good culture.

    Cons

    Lack of progression and low salaries, don't way up working hours with salary and poor development opportunities. Need to wait until someone leaves the company to progress.


  7. "ok"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Member in Newport Pagnell, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Team Member in Newport Pagnell, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    it was ok i guess

    Cons

    a little bit boring i guess

    Advice to Management

    be better


  8. "Average"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Assistant
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly people, easy work, asked to work in departments that suited my experience/interests, lots of overtime available.

    Cons

    Strict uniform, some unfriendly management, most people that worked there seemed unhappy, can be tedious/boring, forced to offer people vouchers and chocolates that you know they won't want (you get in trouble if you forget to do this....really?), impossible to get time off even if you're ill, they claim to be an eco-friendly company and yet print an unnecessary amount of receipts and vouchers at every transaction.

    Advice to Management

    Remember your employees are people too.


  9. "Stretching but generally rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Store Manager in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at WHSmith full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Recognised brand, good opportunities to develop, large degree of self empowerment in store. Staff generally have a pride in working for the company, customers view the company as a valued part of their lives, nostalgia factor especially at back to school period

    Cons

    Staff costs a challenge, company struggles to find a niche in the age of challenges on the high street and growth of online competition. Perception that stores are tired and stores undermanned

    Advice to Management

    Invest in stores, find out what customers like about the company and develop a positive reputation for service and standards, need to create a perception of retailer that delivers a positive experience justifying higher price points


  10. "Night worker"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Night Sales Assistant in Gatwick, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Night Sales Assistant in Gatwick, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at WHSmith full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    don't get me wrong this could be a very good company but the management is the problem

    Cons

    Management is a joke and you don't get rewarded just put down on how everything looks even when it look fine

    Advice to Management

    You couldn't even run a bath even if you tried


  11. "Sales assistants nice supervisors made job hell"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Sales assistants and a few supervisors and mangers were nice but 75% of supervisors abuse their positions and think they have more power than the managers.
    I loved the job but had to leave for personal reasons. Plus I was moved from the shifts I liked to shifts which were the busiest days and hours because I was too good at my job.

    Cons

    Said above some supervisors treat assistants like rubbish

    Advice to Management

    Choose supervisors well since there's some that abuse their title and think they can treat assistants like dirt.


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