Posts Tagged ‘WHSmith’

Failure of British bookstore chains to display or stock Hippie

November 2, 2018

Hippie, a major international best seller by Paulo Coelho, yet noticeable by its absence in WHSmith or Waterstone’ s, two British bookstore chains.

I checked in Guildford High Street, a few weeks after publication.

WHSmith. No Hippie. Not on display, not in stock. Talking to a helpful guy he said he cannot recall ever seeing in the store let alone on display.

Waterstone’s across the street no better. Hippie not on display. I did eventually find, spine only, on the bottom shelf next to the floor with new books. A little direct action. When I left,  on display on table by the entrance.

I inquired the week published. No one knew what I was talking about. WHSmith not only not in stock, not even shown on their system.

I had hoped to find at Gatwick Airport. Not there either.

Contrast with Athens, Hippie in window display of all major bookstores, one even had a display poster on the door.

Appalling service WHSmith Post Office Aldershot

December 3, 2014

A couple of days ago, no problem, today big problems, unfortunately I did not get the same counter staff.

I explicitly ask for Christmas stamps to go on a package. Counter staff attempt to affix a label.

Mail is being collected, a different counter staff hands my parcel to Postman collecting mail sacks.

Instead of placing within a mail sack, he balances it on top of sacks in a cage, from where it could easily fall off get lost or broken.

I object. His attitude is take it or leave it, refuses to place in a sack.

Fearing the worst, I go back to counter staff and request a receipt and proof of posting. I am refused.

WHSmith Aldershot: Jo Nesbo’s latest book

September 5, 2014

Looking in Morrisons last week, I noticed Police, latest book from Jo Nesbo was half price.

If same offer in WHSmith, with 20% off voucher, then an even better deal.

I checked WHSmith Guildford last week on a fruitless search for Adultery, latest book from Paulo Coelho, on offer in WHSmith only you cannot find it, if they did have it and sold it, they do not restock. Where I had a bizarre conversation with thick-as-two-short-planks deputy manger who tried to tell me it was only ‘opinion’ Adultery an international best seller.

WHSmith Guildford, Police buy one get one half price. Not such a good deal.

It was therefore a surprise to see on Monday, Police still at half price in WHSmith Aldershot.

I looked in again today. A chart of paperbacks, Police that was at No1, now not shown in the charts. It could not have dropped out within the space of a week.

I looked around, found a second chart of paperbacks, where it was still shown at No1, and had a half price stickers. At least one had a half price sticker, the others had no stickers.

I also noticed, where shelved, buy one get one £1-99 (or something similar).

To be on the safe side, I took the one with the half price sticker to the counter.

Yes, it was half price, and yes, the second £1-99. I got a further 20% off with 20% off voucher.

This time I was given a get £5 off if you spend £15 voucher. Better even than a 20% off voucher if you spend £15, as getting third off, ie 33% off.

I queried, why was it shown buy one get one half price in WHSmith Guildford, to be told different stores had different prices.

I then asked did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book? I had looked Monday, and not found where previously two copies had been randomly shelved.

No, they had not restocked when they sold their two copies when Adultery was published mid-August.

Unbelievable, an international best seller, from an international best selling author, Adultery entered New York Times best-seller last last Sunday at No2. This Sunday, Paulo Coelho a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday, first part of a two-part interview. An international best-seller that was on special offer in WHSmith (though no longer), that was not on display, those stores that had when they sold their copies, failed to restock.

Police, half price in some WHSmith stores, but not all. WHSith on-line, a higher price than in-store.

Jamie’s Comfort Food is on display at half price in WHSmith. It can be bought cheaper in Sainsbury’s.

I buy books, I was buying books. It was made very clear to me the store was closed, and I was politely asked to leave.

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain. The only surprise is that they remain in businesses.

WHSmith would make a classic case study in a businesses school on how not to.

WHSmith Guildford: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I've survived storms before.

Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I’ve survived storms before.

Each time I think, it cannot get any worse at WHSmith, they prove me wrong.

WHSmith Guildford, would they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I negotiate all the obstacles and obstructions between the entrance and the escalator, and go up to the first floor.

I look in all the obvious places, latest releases, special offers. I draw a blank. Nada.

I seek help from a member of staff. She actually knows what I am after, or another member of staff does, I am taken to where it is seemingly randomly filed. All of one copy.

She pulls it out and hands it to me. Noticing the absence of a half price sticker, I ask is it still on special offer? I am told no, the offer has ended.

Thinking this cannot be, it only was published a couple of weeks ago, I take the book to another member of staff. He scans the book and confirms what I have been told.

A single copy of Adultery, and no longer on special offer.

This beggars belief, a best-seller on special offer, nowhere has it in stock, then when I find a store that has a copy, a single copy it no longer is on offer.

I ask for the manager. Floor manager? No, store manager.

No manager to be found, I settle for deputy manager.

A bizarre conversation then ensues. I am told I should have come to this store not other stores where they did not have a copy. I am then told it does not sell, and it is my opinion that it is a best-seller!

Jamie’s Comfort Food, latest cookbook from Jamie Oliver. Displayed in the window, on special offer at price half price, on display in-store. At half price, better off walking across the road to Waterstone’s, where at least they know about books. Or if you want it less than half price, walk up the High Street to Sainsbury’s, where it is £12-99 (same price as Amazon).

I walk out of the store in disgust.

Fact: International best-seller.

Fact: Second print run in US in less than a week.

Fact: In Sunday Times best-seller list.

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith has become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published earlier this month, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, or it was, but either not in stock, or where they have sold, have not bothered to restock, then when found, no longer on special offer!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Farnborough: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 29, 2014
Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I've survived storms before.

Adultery Will I survive? Of course I will I’ve survived storms before.

Just when I think WHSmith can not get any worse (WHSmith Lincoln, WHSmith Camberley, WHSmith Farnham), WHSmith Farnborough once again proves me wrong.

Did they have Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I look in all the obvious places, latest releases, special offers, even where it had been randomly filed over a week ago. I draw a blank. Nada.

A member of staff sees me looking lost, and offers to help.

Now there is a rarity, a helpful member of staff.

I say what I am looking for, he does not know, and goes off to ask another member of staff.

He returns with the answer, we had two copies, we sold them.

Now I think it fair to say, Adultery, Paulo Coelho’s latest book is not a rare limited edition. It is an international best-seller, last week in the Sunday Times best-seller list, WHSmith Farnborough sells their only two copies, but fails to re-order. A best-seller they have on special offer, only they do not bother to stock!

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith has become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published earlier this month, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have failed to restock the copies sold, let alone on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Farnham: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 23, 2014
Adultery We don't show our feelings because people might think we're vulnerable and take advantage of us

Adultery We don’t show our feelings because people might think we’re vulnerable and take advantage of us

I thought nowhere could be as bad as WHSmith Lincoln, though WHSmith Camberley runs it a close second, but today, WHSmith Farnham proved me wrong.

I popped in, to thank you to the young lady who last week was very helpful, and to see if they had Adultery in stock, having last week wiped out their entire stock, all two copies.

I looked, but could not find anywhere. The information desk at the back was not manned, no staff by the shelves, nothing for it but to go to the cash tills at the front of the store.

I found a supervisor, at least that is what the badge said, standing around doing nothing.

Paulo Coelho’s latest book?

I got what has now become the norm for WHSmith, the blank stare.

Title?

Adultery.

No, we only have paperbacks.

This baffled me, as Adultery a hardback.

I asked to look.

Adultery listed, zero stock.

Last week, I wiped out their entire stock, all two copies. An international best-seller from an international best-selling author, out of stock, and they do not restock, let alone have as one would expect copies piled up on prominent display.

I raise this. The answer I get beggars belief, but sadly sums up both WHSmith and the staff they employ.

Not my problem.

I explain, it will be his problem when they go out of businesses.

He then tries to tell me they are a highly successful chain.

I was not sure if that was meant to be irony or an example of corporate brainwashing.

I contrast the ignoramus with a Spanish girl working in a little bakery shop, that I had just come from.

A Spanish girl working there, noticed I had Eleven Minutes in my hand. We had a long chat re Paulo Coelho. I told her Paulo Coelho had a new book out, Adultery, but she alredy knew. She said she would buy in Spain, because she wanted to read in Spanish. We both agreed, a tiny bookshop in Spain, would have on display in the window, they would know the author. Contrast with WHSmith.

On the counter 20% off vouchers. I requested one. I was refused on the grounds no transaction had taken place!

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business. WHSmith and their staff have become a laughing stock. But I doubt they even care.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have failed to restock the copies sold, let alone on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Aldershot: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 21, 2014
Adultery love isn't a feeling; it's an art

Adultery love isn’t a feeling; it’s an art

As the young lady in WHSmith Aldershot had been helpful last week in advising me to go to WHSmith Farnham, I thought I would pop in and thank her, and as it was Thursday, delivery day, maybe, just maybe, they might have Paulo Coelho’s latest book in stock.

I thanked her, and she checked on the system.

Yes, we have in stock.

She then led me to where she thought we would find, and where I would have looked, latest releases, hardbacks on special offer.

We both looked, we looked again, I knew what I was looking for, as I knew what the cover looked like. We both drew a blank.

She then asked fellow members of staff. One shrugged no idea, but luckily one did.

He took us to a shelf, and seemingly shelved randomly, as WHSmith Farnborough, two copies of Adultery. These were shelved spine showing, so not easily spotted, but even had they been shelved with cover showing, no sticker showing they were on special offer at half price.

Their entire stock of an international best-seller from an international best-selling author, two copies!

I bought their entire stock, all two copies. Half price, a further 20% off with a 20% off discount voucher. Two copies £9-98, less than full price for a single copy. The helpful young lady, gave me a second 20% off voucher, which runs for September, after mine has run out.

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, they have all of two copies in stock and not on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Lincoln: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 21, 2014
Adultery love isn't a feeling; it's an art

Adultery love isn’t a feeling; it’s an art

Having checked yesterday and been blatantly lied to

  • not true Adultery not shown on system
  • not true cannot order in store for delivery to store
  • not true have to order on-line for delivery to store

did WHSmith Lincoln have Paulo Coelho’s lastest book in stock?

Not known, as no could be bothered to unpack the delivery.

Maybe they would know later in the morning, say around midday.

Er no, as no one would have unpacked the delivery. The delivery would not be unpacked until the following day.

Later in the day, it was learnt WHSmith Lincoln had copies of Adultery, how many copies not known.

It is unbelievable anyone can conduct business in this slapdash manner and still remain in business.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, only they do not know if in stock because no one can be arsed to unpack a delivery, let alone not as one would expect have on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it in stock on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

Adultery on special offer at WHSmith

August 20, 2014
Adultery half price at WHSmith

Adultery half price at WHSmith

If you have a best-seller from an international best-selling writer on offer at half price, do you:

  • not have on display, no copies in stock
  • on prominent display, lots of copies in store

Most would choose the second option. Not though if you are WHSmith, they perversely chose the first option, no copies on display nor in stock.

WHSmith has Adultery on offer at half price, an extra 20% if you have a 20% discount voucher.

Not that this would be apparent in any WHSmith store, no information, no books on prominent display.

Nor will you find the staff have a clue what you are asking for if you inquire.

Of the stores checked, over half did not have in stock, had not had in stock. Of the stores that had in stock: One had two copies, but not on the shelves, one had two copies on the shelves but staff no idea where without checking a list, when found, appeared to be shelved at random, spine on show not front of book, so neither eye catching nor apparent on offer as cover not on show.

Let us for a moment assume Paulo Coelho an unknown author. A book with an appealing cover, the title Adultery, would probably still sell if placed on prominent display, once read as well written, would then spread by word of mouth.

But in this case, have an international best-seller (that has shot to No1 in most if not all countries), from an internationally acclaimed best-selling author. And yet still not on prominent display, in most cases, not even in stock, and the staff ignorant of author and his latest release.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, and yet, do not have in stock, do not have on prominent display!

Would Tesco have a special offer and then hide it away?

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it in stock on prominent display?

The only people who are going to find this special offer, are those who know about it, go in and ask when they cannot find, and only then if they are very lucky will they come away with a copy of Adultery.

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.

WHSmith Lincoln: Paulo Coelho’s latest book

August 20, 2014
Adultery international best seller

Adultery international best seller

WHSmith Lincoln, Paulo Coelho’s latest book not on display anywhere, member of staff asked.

No, not in stock, sold out.

Had they sold out, had it ever been in stock?

Claimed it was not on their system. A blatant lie, as it is shown on their system, and if not shown, how could they say had been in stock but sold?

Could two copies be ordered? No, not possible. Another blatant lie, as it is possible to order books at WHSmith, but not worth the effort as quicker and cheaper to order from Amazon.

Store then advised, get someone to order on-line and collect from store. Yet another blatant lie, it is not possible to order on-line and have delivered to shop, and why bother, easier, quicker, and cheaper to order from Amazon.

On-line, WHSmith Adultery full price, in store, if you can find in store, half price, plus can use 20% discount voucher.

Manager asked for. Manger on holiday. Acting manager?

Just when you think, it cannot possibly get any worse at WHSmith, it does.

To date, WHSmith Lincoln worst of a bad bunch, and the others have been bad. Ignorant staff who do not know well known authors, who do not know latest books, who cannot even spell.

Adultery, published last week, an international best-seller from an international best selling author, WHSmith has it on special offer at half price, only they do not have in stock, claim it cannot be ordered, let alone not as one would expect on prominent display!

If you have an international best-seller on special offer, do you not have it in stock on prominent display?

It is little wonder WHSmith a failing High Street chain, permanent fire sales. The only surprise is that they remain in business.