WH Smith warns 1,500 jobs at risk

Deal editor24
Posted 5th Aug
Sadly another retailer that has been badly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

WH Smith has warned that up to 1,500 jobs are at risk due to a huge drop in the number of people visiting its stores. WH Smith UK travel shops at airports, and train stations have been hit by low passenger numbers, and many have not yet re-opened.

They are looking at restructuring the UK side of the business after sales dropped by 57 per cent in July compared to the same month last year, and are predicting losses of 70 million in August!!

A really unsettling time for their staff - if I spot any more info, I will update in here

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I feel sorry for the staff but I'm surprised WH Smith has actually lasted this long considering the prices they charge.
Edited by: "PaulandPam" 5th Aug
How they managed to last this long is quite something. Any time I popped in for a browse there was hardly anyone else and that was way before the pandemic hit.
Survival of the fittest - if you’re not selling what people want to buy, how they want to buy it or at competitive prices and have shockingly poor customer service, sadly it’s only a matter of time. Covid might be speeding up the demise of some companies... but lots were financially unstable before any of this. Many companies haven’t adapted to new trends and are being left behind
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Anyone depending on a traveller / commuter / office worker is going to be facing a lot of pain for quite some time. I wouldn't be surprised to see SSP also go into administration; they have the Ritazza, Upper Crust, etc franchises.
I feel sorry for the staff but I'm surprised WH Smith has actually lasted this long considering the prices they charge.
Edited by: "PaulandPam" 5th Aug
Damn. My buddy waiting to here on a job from them after interview last week
Survival of the fittest - if you’re not selling what people want to buy, how they want to buy it or at competitive prices and have shockingly poor customer service, sadly it’s only a matter of time. Covid might be speeding up the demise of some companies... but lots were financially unstable before any of this. Many companies haven’t adapted to new trends and are being left behind
How they managed to last this long is quite something. Any time I popped in for a browse there was hardly anyone else and that was way before the pandemic hit.
shelliebish05/08/2020 12:39

Survival of the fittest - if you’re not selling what people want to buy, h …Survival of the fittest - if you’re not selling what people want to buy, how they want to buy it or at competitive prices and have shockingly poor customer service, sadly it’s only a matter of time. Covid might be speeding up the demise of some companies... but lots were financially unstable before any of this. Many companies haven’t adapted to new trends and are being left behind


This pretty much sums things up re: bricks and mortar retailers.

I'm struggling to think of one that has successfully developed a hybrid online/offline model in tune with modern shopping habits - most have just tacked on a Click & Collect service or store stock checker which invariably is inaccurate.

They also need to re-train staff to really go the extra mile to try to win the business from the customer stood in front of them - one of the hardest things as a retailer is to actually get a customer through the door yet, even now, most retailers blow it once they have them in store.

WHS are in a prime position to exploit the growth in hobbies, arts and crafts and reading due to the lockdown by offering in store art classes, book readings etc but seem wedded to just shifting products.

Local authorities are also to blame with their exorbitant parking charges and policies which discourage people from venturing into town.

Obviously, I'm talking about post pandemic.
Jump_Out_Gang05/08/2020 12:33

Damn. My buddy waiting to here on a job from them after interview last …Damn. My buddy waiting to here on a job from them after interview last week


Not any more, they will try and move staff before taking new on..

which is a shame.
Edited by: "Bargainhead" 6th Aug
HappyShopper05/08/2020 13:03

This pretty much sums things up re: bricks and mortar retailers.I'm …This pretty much sums things up re: bricks and mortar retailers.I'm struggling to think of one that has successfully developed a hybrid online/offline model in tune with modern shopping habits - most have just tacked on a Click & Collect service or store stock checker which invariably is inaccurate.They also need to re-train staff to really go the extra mile to try to win the business from the customer stood in front of them - one of the hardest things as a retailer is to actually get a customer through the door yet, even now, most retailers blow it once they have them in store.WHS are in a prime position to exploit the growth in hobbies, arts and crafts and reading due to the lockdown by offering in store art classes, book readings etc but seem wedded to just shifting products.Local authorities are also to blame with their exorbitant parking charges and policies which discourage people from venturing into town.Obviously, I'm talking about post pandemic.


Obviously social distancing doesn’t count for art classes or readings.
A lot of firms using this to down size get rid of staff, easier cheaper and more profitable to sell online...
Edited by: "Bargainhead" 6th Aug
Their high st prices have been shocking for years,you would expect to pay more for products at stores at an airport or train station but they seemed to want to bring those premium prices on to the high st
Bargainhead05/08/2020 13:21

Obviously social distancing doesn’t count for art classes or readings.


From my original post:

"Obviously, I'm talking about post pandemic".
They won't be missed! What was it, £5 for a bottle of water or something?
HappyShopper05/08/2020 13:35

From my original post:"Obviously, I'm talking about post pandemic".


But pandemic not over yet so not post pandemic and they are going under now so doesn’t make sense. As social distancing still in place..
Bargainhead05/08/2020 14:43

But pandemic not over yet so not post pandemic and they are going under …But pandemic not over yet so not post pandemic and they are going under now so doesn’t make sense. As social distancing still in place..


You said: "But pandemic not over yet..."
Correct, hence my use of the term, 'post pandemic'.

You said: "...so not post pandemic"
Correct, hence the term 'post pandemic' which means after the pandemic.

You said: "They are going under now..."
Are they? All the news reports today refer to them potentially cutting staff numbers and not about them 'going under'.
However, perhaps you have some insider information you can share pertaining to them 'going under'.

"...so doesn't make sense"
I believe it does - please see above explanation regarding the term 'post pandemic'

You said: As social distancing still in place..."
Correct, hence the use of the term 'post pandemic' when, hopefully social distancing will no longer be required.
I’m sorry to hear this
I generally avoid them these days. 40-50p more for say a 500ml bottle of Coke at Manchester Airport compared to Boots 20m away.
Haven't really used them since Buffy, Angel and Friends were coming out on VHS and DVD, so you can tell how long ago that was! The one in my town closed down many years ago. Never moved with the times, and most things were cheaper in the supermarkets, online etc.

Book selections are fairly limited, and magazines don't really have the same appeal these days.
Sure they cater for travellers, but as said earlier, with the downfall in airport and train station traffic, there's not a lot they can really do. (a lot of self serve machines in Manchester Airport that does away with staff).
There are 2 in T3 departures/arrivals. The one downstairs in arrivals doesn't seem to get much trade, and the one upstairs near Ryanair is lucky to get a handful of customers a day. Think that's still closed.
HappyShopper05/08/2020 16:27

You said: "But pandemic not over yet..."Correct, hence my use of the term, …You said: "But pandemic not over yet..."Correct, hence my use of the term, 'post pandemic'.You said: "...so not post pandemic"Correct, hence the term 'post pandemic' which means after the pandemic.You said: "They are going under now..."Are they? All the news reports today refer to them potentially cutting staff numbers and not about them 'going under'.However, perhaps you have some insider information you can share pertaining to them 'going under'."...so doesn't make sense"I believe it does - please see above explanation regarding the term 'post pandemic'You said: As social distancing still in place..."Correct, hence the use of the term 'post pandemic' when, hopefully social distancing will no longer be required.


If that makes you feel better, But your logic of art glasses and readings because hobbies are up due to pandemic. Well when the pandemic is over there will be no need for all that as people will go back to their lives..

it’s a shame for the work force but the high street is dying and was before this and this is the perfect excuse to cost cut.
Bargainhead05/08/2020 20:45

If that makes you feel better, But your logic of art glasses and readings …If that makes you feel better, But your logic of art glasses and readings because hobbies are up due to pandemic. Well when the pandemic is over there will be no need for all that as people will go back to their lives.. it’s a shame for the work force but the high street is dying and was before this and this is the perfect excuse to cost cut.


I really don't think there is the need to make a pithy comment such as 'if that makes you feel better'.

All I asked was for you to qualify your statement that WHSmith 'are going under now' which isn't an unreasonable request.

Also, you have now stated that people who picked up hobbies during the pandemic will 'go back to their lives' after the pandemic suggesting they will no longer pursue these hobbies. Again, it is not un-reasonable to ask you to qualify this statement.
HappyShopper05/08/2020 22:23

I really don't think there is the need to make a pithy comment such as 'if …I really don't think there is the need to make a pithy comment such as 'if that makes you feel better'.All I asked was for you to qualify your statement that WHSmith 'are going under now' which isn't an unreasonable request.Also, you have now stated that people who picked up hobbies during the pandemic will 'go back to their lives' after the pandemic suggesting they will no longer pursue these hobbies. Again, it is not un-reasonable to ask you to qualify this statement.


Nothing pithy about it, People will always go back to who/what they are it’s human nature, you might get a few what will stick to a new hobby. But must younger generation are tech orientated, as for others look how many idiots couldn’t wait to book another holiday even tho it’s all going to go wrong again then complain when they have to isolate when they get back or it’s cancelled, look at people who stayed in Britain and over crowded beaches and beauty spots how many people went straight back to pubs, alcohol and social distancing don’t go together. 95% of people are morons. Your asking me to qualify why people will stick to a new hobby lol. Hobbies what smiths would sell are not electronic sort, just look on this site there was a shortage of all consoles.

As for smiths going under look at the patten of what’s happening with the high street well before all this started, you don’t need a crystal ball. This is the start of it all going wrong.

Quite clearly I can’t see the future, but that’s the same as you do you really think readings and art classes are saving smiths . People who want art classes go to them, book shops get people in to do readings already. I’m more than willing to put money on smiths going under, would you bet it doesn’t.
Edited by: "Bargainhead" 6th Aug
No matter what your view of WHS might be, it's still very sad for the UK high street to see yet another retailer on the verge and more people losing their livelihood, no matter what the reason may be.

To turn this thread into a row about semantics and sarcasm really says a lot about you as people. Try showing a little compassion and sympathy for those worst affected by this news instead of arguing about who said what. SMH.
WHSmith have been dying a long slow death for a long time. It's nothing short of a miracle that they are still going.
I reckon it is only the post office element to the branches that keeps them afloat.
If you like a laugh...follow @wh_carpet on twitter. It's deviated from its original days, but a twitter account dedicated tothe shambolic running of the company,and the state of their carpets, promotions, offers etc.
HappyShopper06/08/2020 08:12

Comment deleted


Or you could just think for yourself and use common sense..
spongebob191306/08/2020 08:59

WHSmith have been dying a long slow death for a long time. It's nothing …WHSmith have been dying a long slow death for a long time. It's nothing short of a miracle that they are still going. I reckon it is only the post office element to the branches that keeps them afloat.If you like a laugh...follow @wh_carpet on twitter. It's deviated from its original days, but a twitter account dedicated tothe shambolic running of the company,and the state of their carpets, promotions, offers etc.


I am amazed myself how on earth they manage to keep afloat with their 1980s/90s decor....the hilarious tired carpet photos, the decline of magazine print, sales and pricing. Not to mention their overpriced stationery and novelty Christmas gift tat.
cicobuff06/08/2020 09:26

I am amazed myself how on earth they manage to keep afloat with their …I am amazed myself how on earth they manage to keep afloat with their 1980s/90s decor....the hilarious tired carpet photos, the decline of magazine print, sales and pricing. Not to mention their overpriced stationery and novelty Christmas gift tat.


It's like a ridiculously overpriced pound shop.
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