WH Smith named UK’s worst retailer in Which? survey

WH Smith

WH Smith has been named the UK’s worst retailer in a Which? survey, for the second year running.

WH Smith finished last in the rankings by a panel of more than 7,700 shoppers put together by Which?.

It was rated particularly poorly for customer value and in-store service.

Conversely, Richer Sounds topped the survey, scoring an 89% customer score and finishing above Rohan (87%) and John Lewis (86%).

Also topping the table, Lakeland, Apple and Waterstones finished highly.

On the other hand, alongside WH Smith, Clinton Cards, House of Fraser and Sports Direct all ranked poorly.

Notably, both House of Fraser and Sports Direct are owned by billionaire retail tycoon Mike Ashley, who also held a stake in embattled department store Debenhams (LON:DEB).

Despite being named the worst UK retailer for the second time running, WH Smith has been performing strongly in recent years despite a tough environment for the high street.

The company has benefited in particular from its travel business, with many stores in prime airport locations such as Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow.

In April, WH Smith revealed that group revenue had risen to £695 million, whilst underlying pre-tax profits fell 1% to £82 million in its interim results.

Travel sales continued to boost the business coming in at £364 million, up 18% across the period.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement: “This survey… is neither statistically relevant nor meaningful relative to our loyal customer base,”

“Every week we serve three million customers in our 600 UK High Street stores and have maintained our presence on the high street where many other retailers are closing stores.”

Shares in WH Smith (LON: SMWH) are currently down -2.09% as of 14:13PM (GMT), as the market reacts to the ranking.