View Full Version : Time to boycott WH Smith?

06-08-2009, 11:22 AM
OK, here's a subject very close to our hearts but which may be of interest to anyone who values quality and consumer affairs and is against sheer, blatant greed and monopolies.

WH Smith has just announced an 'exclusive' deal with Penguin books to stock ONLY Penguin titles at their 464 travel stores throughout the UK (all airports, motorway services, and train stations). This is because Penguin have offered them a massive price discount for this exclusivity, basically in order to put other travel-guide sellers out of business. Also, WHS have an exclusiove deal in all these outlets and do not allow anyone else to sell books there, being this would represent the ultim,ate monopoly of what people can buy.

This means anyone's choice to get a decent travel book at any of those outlets will be SEVERLY limited in future, and will certainly mean the Brit Guide titles will NOT be available at any of them.

This is obviously a big concern for us in terms of simple book sales, but even more so in that people will only be given a sub-standard choice of what they can buy and, very probably, not get as good a holiday as a result of not having the right material on offer. Penguin brands include Rough Guides and Dorling Kindersley, neither of which have anything remotely useful for Orlando/Central Florida or Disneyland Paris. As well as no Brit Guides, there will be no Frommers, Bradt, Lonely Planet, Unofficial Guides, or similar brands available.

If, like us, you feel strongly about this crass and clearly anti-consumer move, please join us in boycotting WH Smiths and Penguin book products completely until they come to their senses.

Many thanks,


06-08-2009, 01:15 PM
I agree that this doesn't sound fair to other publishers and ultimately WHSmith will lose customers when they can't find the choice and variety of items they are looking for.
I must confess that in general I find most High St book retailers expensive and rarely use them when online retailers are far more reasonably priced.
In all honesty I can't remember the last time I bought something from WHSmith, their greeting cards are far too overpriced and they seem to be more interested in selling cheap bars of chocolate at the till rather than being the quality bookshop, stationers and music retailer that they used to be. Lately they seem to be trying to fill the shoes of Woolworths without much success.

Lizzy Lemon
06-08-2009, 01:28 PM
Very, very rarely buy anything from them anyway, far too expensive. Prefer the choice in Waterstones (in our local area anyway)

06-08-2009, 02:34 PM
I dont buy books from them as i already find they are more expensive than other retailers .

06-08-2009, 02:45 PM
i must be in the minority, i get a lot of books from them when they have the 3 for 2 offers on !

I rarely shop at the airport tho :guilty:

ETA: Nice to see you on the uk community boards.

Claire L
06-08-2009, 03:14 PM
To be honest with the internet as a research tool and Amazon for cheaper books I haven't used WH Smith in years.

Claire ;)

06-08-2009, 03:22 PM
And here's a timely story from The Times today:


(Nice to be here, too, natalie. Shame it is only to have a bit of a rant!!)

06-08-2009, 03:46 PM
I don't shop there very often but I do buy my Brits guide there and like Nat I buy books on the 3 for 2, I rarely buy books at the airport though.

06-08-2009, 03:56 PM
I don't buy a lot there - actually WHS irritate me by the way they always scan a special offer coupon that I don't want onto my receipt.

I asked them to remove it once and you'd think I'd grown an extra head by the way the assistant looked at me,

"You're not paying anything for it."

"I don't want it please take it off my receipt."

"We have to scan them for every purchase ..." You get the drift. I just walked out without buying anything that time. Now I just buy elsewhere unless I really have no other option.

Clare D
06-08-2009, 04:05 PM
How frustrating and annoying for you Simon. I like most others who have replied don't shop at WH Smith but choose Amazon instead.
I find the Rough Guides boring to be honest with very little useful information so I will be telling friends to shop elsewhere and buy your book as I have bought various editions over the years and enjoyed each and every one of them :thumbsup2

06-08-2009, 05:07 PM
Vary rarely buy books from WHSmith now. In our local store and in the large store in Leicester they moved post offices into them so greatly reducing the amount and choice of books and other goods on sale - so much so it's just a waste of time going in.

There is a Borders very close to where I work and quite often go in there for a Starbucks coffee and to see if they have any two for one deals.

When I buy books it's usually on line from Amazon etc.

As for airport books WHSmiths, I think I have only ever bought newspapers and sweets there. Bit late really buying a guide book once you are actually at the airport - doesn't give you much time to plan :)

Ware Bears
06-08-2009, 05:25 PM
they seem to be more interested in selling cheap bars of chocolate at the till rather than being the quality bookshop, stationers and music retailer that they used to be.

Totally agree with you, Joanne.

06-10-2009, 07:00 AM
I don't buy books from WH Smiths anyway, they hardly stock any decent books.

06-11-2009, 05:46 AM
I haven't bought from a WH Smiths shop for years but did buy your book online with WH Smiths a few months ago after a tip off from the Disboards and going through Quidco. :thumbsup2

It's a shame they're going down this route as their main competitor on the high street is Waterstones and I think Waterstone have always had the upper hand due to the choice they offer. Now WH Smith's have just put the final nail in their coffin. I think they will end up in the graveyard with Woolworths!

06-11-2009, 05:50 AM
WH Smith isn't competing against Waterstones or even Amazon at airports or train stations, they are purely there to grab the last minute or bored shopper (of which there are plenty!).
Lonely Planet is a whole other issue since it has been bought by BBC Worldwide using license payers' money at a possibly inflated price.