Dear WH Smith

14 July 2012

This is an open letter to WH Smith, the UK high street newsagent/stationer/retailer. In particular, I resent the pointless, unrelated vouchers they ram in to your purchases (and I’m not the only one).

Dear WH Smith,

We had a good relationship for years. Over a decade of unintelligible scrawlings at school have been penned with blue ink cartridge from you. Newspapers and books have provided entertainment on cold nights waiting for trains, buses and helicopters (OK, I lied about the helicopters). And when Woolworths closed, you were there, filling that vital pick ‘n’ mix hole.

You’ve changed. You’ve become needy. You try and sell me cheap chocolate. With every purchase, you thrust vouchers for things I don’t want in to my hands. If I’m buying a newspaper, I don’t want to have to find a bin to dump your futile attempt to cross-sell to me. This is particularly annoying in your branches at train stations, where there are no longer bins.

Simply, you need to change, and this is an intervention. Stop trying to fob your vouchers, promotions and cheap confectionery off on us, and concentrate instead on giving us what we want: books, stationery, newspapers, pick ‘n’ mix and odds-and-ends that nowhere else sells quite the way you used to.

You used to be cool, WH Smith. Sort it out.


Your customers