WHSmith Employee Reviews

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So understaffed it's embarrassing
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Luton, Bedfordshire15 April 2018
Management really have no concept of what being a sales assistant is like. What they expect you to do can only be accomplished by running around like a headless chicken as you of course need to serve customers too - many showing more empathy towards us from what they've seen during their minutes-long visits than management. From what I've seen and heard in terms of aggressive customers, understaffing could become a safety issue, I for one, untrained in this respect, have been aggressively, verbally, personally threatened and had to stand there on my own and take it before continuing to serve other customers. Management try to guilt-trip you into staying longer or coming in earlier - that is on top of the unasked-for overtime you're already doing. We don't even have a cleaner.
Pros
Colleagues are nice, will look good on your CV, improved patience
Cons
Pretty much everything else
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Wouldn't bother
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Hampshire8 April 2018
This place is an absolute joke of a company to work for. Management get paid triple than normal staff members yet go home early everyday and leave NONE key holders to lock up.
The job itself is boring, serving rude customers all day and having to run the shop by yourself most of the time as management spend all day doing "paperwork" or calling other managers to have a chat for about 5 hours a day. Basically if you are a supervisor or above you can get away with anything. I honestly wouldn't bother working here, job makes you feel worthless and litreally no one gives any care in the world about you. Can't even call in sick because of how short staffed the place is, but either way you'll just get moaned at for calling in sick. If you haven't got a sick note you basically aren't getting your sick day off. Also be prepared to get texts everyday asking if you can come to work because surprisingly management want to go home as being on the phone all day and asking staff to do 5 jobs at a time is too much of a hard job.
Pros
Location, staff.
Cons
Management, wage, rude customers.
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Enjoyable
Shop Floor Assistant (Former Employee) –  London5 April 2018
It was good whilst i was there. Nice little shop in paddington station,sell nice sandwich's and drinks. Good for newspapers also. Yes it's expensive but if you can't afford it don't shop there.
Cons
Long hours
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Typical Workplace
Sales Assistant (Work Experience) (Former Employee) –  London4 April 2018
The staff were very welcoming and friendly at the workplace. The shop floor was very clean and everything was organised. The cons of this workplace, is that the stockroom was not so organised so it would sometimes be hard for me to place items in their right place. I enjoyed the company of the staffs as they were very helpful.
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Honestly, don't bother.
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Cheltenham, Gloucestershire3 April 2018
I had worked in WH Smiths company for years, and transferred to another store when I moved. The original store I worked was like a family, and was incredible to be a part of. The store I transferred to, I left after only 7 or so months. It really proved to me that the company literally does only think of it's employees as numbers. I was studying at the time, but would still receive phone calls late at night and early in the morning to come in and work hours because they hadn't organised cover and I was the cheapest resort. I highly so not recommend working for WH Smiths. You're literally just another number to them.
Pros
Not much.
Cons
expected to do so many more hours than you're contracted, and belittled when you're unable to.
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Not a nice place to work
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Leeds city station3 April 2018
Although the company is ok to work I’d advice everyone never to work for Leeds city station some of the staff members have a huge chip on there shoulder there’s like a few you can get on with the manager is ok hard working but he kinda plays favouritism the most challenging part is customers they are not nice people I’ve had to deal with a lot such as racism verbal abuse and sometimes threatening behaviour there is no security around when you need it the most other then that a job is a job if you do choose to work there I wouldn’t stay there for the long run especially if you’re cultural person
Pros
Decent wage
Cons
Not a nice place to work
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Boring
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire1 April 2018
It's very low pay, when quite there is nothing to do apart from clean up random bits of rubbish etc. The shifts were very short as well, they made me work Christmas eve the day I started, bad with holidays.
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Fun to work at but terrible long term
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Caterham, Surrey30 March 2018
I have been working at WHSmith part time for two years and it is a good part time job overall but in the long run it has not been great the pay is very basic and there are no pay increases unless you move up a position or minimum wage goes up. The biggest pro is you meet a lot of nice people in the business and out. The biggest con is the pay and I also feel like the lack of job security for example I have been here two years yet im still part time alothough I have showed that I am interested to go full time.
Pros
Nice people
Cons
Lack of Job Security
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my time at wh smiths
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  wolverhampton and bridgnorth30 March 2018
for a first job is was good it was flexible hours and they work with you if your studying
the discount was good
staff are very friendly and work good has a team
Pros
discount
Cons
hours
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Do not work for whsmith! Stay clear!!
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Birmingham / Airport28 March 2018
so first day of induction: they showed you what is expected of the job provided you with some till training maybe 1/2 hours and showed you what you will be doing on the shop floor. made you sign training cards to prove that you are trained on the till even if you are not confident "they don't care".

once signed the next date you will be put in a store by yourself with no support and left to run the entire store by yourself. this is from serving customers, filling the shelfs with stock, and general customer enquire.

you are not allowed to have your mobiles and bank cards on you at any time they expect you to put your personal belongs away in lockers which do not have any locks. so anyone can come and steal your stuff.

if they are short staffed which is most of the time dont expect to have a break because they wont give you one. anytime you need a toilet break you need to ring the office so they can get someone to cover .

hardest part of the day was trying to stay awake. the job itself is so boring they pay you peanuts yet they have a very good turn over and are boasting about making profit. but still pay the staff minimum wage.

the best part of the job is knowing when your shift is over.

management is rude supervisors are all horrible people. they need to learn how to talk to their staff in a normal manner then being bossy.

no wonder everyone leaves. and they have a hard time finding staff
learn how to respect your staff and they might stay..
Pros
none
Cons
everything
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Customer service skills
Customer Services Manager (Former Employee) –  East Grinstead, West Sussex28 March 2018
I learnt all my customer service skills here, prior to this position I had covered a multitude of roles moving learning all aspects of the business.

Retail is all about details, presentation and ensuring the customer is happy with the purchase and experience in store.
Pros
Teamwork
Cons
Long hours, low pay.
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Productive and Enjoyable
sales assistant, department manager (Former Employee) –  Southend26 March 2018
Organising the daily structure for department, including staff management and training.
Learned to improve my people skills and product knowledge for the present and the future.
The hardest part was the difficult customers, but with good customer skills that you can over come those challenges.
The best part was working with lovely people and dealing with good customers.
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Enjoyable
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Swansea, Swansea24 March 2018
Working for SMiths is enjoyable and challenging. Every day is full of new and interesting activities. A sense of achievement and pride can be found.
Pros
Meeting people
Cons
None
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Productive company
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Liverpool Street Station22 March 2018
Overall I would say Whsmith is a business which is good for a part time job, somewhere to earn a little money while you are looking else where. At a typical day of work you would do anything you could think of it varies per day, depending on the customers attitudes, what staff are in work, and what challenges you faced. For example I work on a Sunday, so the day its self is quite slow paced. I go from managing the digital section, making sure that nothing is stolen and advising customers on what product would best suit there need, to being a cashier, to replenishing stock, to scanning items to be destroyed to even checking the expiration dates on products. It completely changes depending on time, day,and season. The hardest part of the job would be dealing with foreign customers who cannot speak English as you have to find a different way to communicate with them. The most enjoyable part of the job has to be being able to show off your knowledge to customers and actually feeling like you are helping them in some way. The work culture is very positive at Whsmith with everyone being friendly,however i wouldn't choose it as a long term option
Pros
Training
Cons
Extreme weather conditions, Unpaid breaks, Bad pay in general
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satisfactory
Packer/Driver (Former Employee) –  Nottinghamshire19 March 2018
i was a packer driver that took magazines and newspaper out to all the different shops across Lincolnshire, Nottingham and derbyshire. i also had to pack magazines onto the magazine machine.
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Fun place
Shop Floor Assistant (Former Employee) –  Enfield16 March 2018
It was work experience so i had a fun experience and learned new things. They taught me how to clean shelves properly and stock deliveries and how do you use the checkout till.
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Terrible
Team Leader (Current Employee) –  East Surrey Hospital10 March 2018
Little to no training given when I started.

The manager is hardly ever there and only ever seems to do banking.

The area managers and others are aware of the stock problem yet allow deliveries that completely ruin the workspace to the level of it being a high health and safety risk and when you tell them they don't care.

Half the staff have left and not been replaced meaning you are having a massive workload which can never be met.
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Decent job
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) –  Bolton9 March 2018
Work as a sales assistant, co workers very friendly, work is average in difficulty, manager expects everything to absolutely perfect and is a a control freak
Pros
Easy work
Cons
Travelling to work, pay
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Productive & fun workplace
General Assistant (Former Employee) –  Norwich9 March 2018
This was my first job and incredibly rewarding. I learnt so much about customer service and working within a team to ensure excellent customer service.
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I left before my probation finished
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) –  Gatwick Airport Station9 March 2018
I only worked 1 day a week due to still being a student. The first shift was great and I was trained, however you should still have somebody to watch over you incase you forget anything on your second shift. As it was a week until my next shift I was likely to still be a bit nervous. I was left on my own in a shop for 8 hours and wasn’t told that I was meant to close up an hour before I finished work. On top of that I hardly ever received my correct breaks, and the place had a really bad staff turn over
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Overall rating

3.5
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