I did another WH Smith order and got Still Corners’ Slow Air LP and Thee Oh Sees’ Mutilator Defeated at Last LP. Around £29 with the code, and couldn’t find either LP cheaper elsewhere.
They won’t be in any shop but they would be available to order in quickly for a customer who asked for them and since that is not going to be happening that often they can take advantage of that by offering them online.
I know a bit about Smiths because (boringly) loads of my family have worked there going back three generations. They always traditionally made most of their money from being distributors - they provided all the newspapers and magazines (and other things) to shops all over the country. Their own branded shops never made much money. That market will have declined massively but presumably they still have warehouse space, distribution networks etc so they are quite well positioned to sell online.
That’s really interesting!
Do any WH Smiths sell vinyl or cd in-store?
When i was a kid they had shops that were almost like fnac - they’d have loads of stationary, records & tapes, books, electronics, film processing (I think) in addition to all the newspapers etc. But I haven’t seen a store for years that is anything other than newspapers/magazines/snacks&drinks.
There’s still a big one in central Newcastle. Can’t remember about music (mostly went in cos it has the big post office) but it still had a whole floor of books at least, as well as other assorted tat around the edge. Felt somewhere between Waterstones and The Works I guess.
Don’t know to be honest - I never go in because they are horrible shops and always have been (despite the family connection). I used to have a girlfriend who was the manager of the record department in the Norwich branch though.
didn’t want to rude about your family!
but yeah always slightly weird for some reason I can’t put my finger on. But you know. don’t think I’ve been in one in decades tbh.
They’re scruffy, over stocked, messy, dated. I can see their value at a train station or an airport (which are their only profitable shops, by the way) but in a city centre there’s nearly always a better option for anything they sell.
I often look back and count my lucky stars I failed a job interview there when I was 17 and got a job in Primark instead.
went back on WH Smiths and ordered Mikal Cronin and Totale’s Turns. cheekily of them, entering the 10% discount code took me back under the free postage threshold, so i had to add a single pen to my order to bring it back to £25.08. that’s the handy thing about ordering your records from a newsagents i guess (though i feel a bit bad for getting my records there instead of a struggling independent right now)
good list there, pleased to see they’ve included some pretty decent Irish stores. been missing my trips down to Dublin this year.
Yeah the ones I know are all great. Didn’t post to guilt trip anyone btw! More to have an idea of who’s still operating locally for pick up/online orders.
I worked in WH Smith’s for 2 years as a teenager. Mainly a Saturday job. It was dismal. From memory, I mostly just sold and put copies of the Daily Mail in bags for old people, and occasionally went and got a specialist model mag for a man with heavy breath.
I did a 3 year shift, 2 years during my degree in Swindon, and a year after in Bristol
Put inserts inside thousands of weekend papers every weekend then hid in the magazine srock room pocketing the free CDs and eating sweets off the comics
Then on the tils in Bristol until they realised i had no customer facing skills and stuck me in a cage full of CDs and DVDs out the back
All in all not dreadful
I do wonder how they continue to trade though
80% of their current revenue comes from the DrownedinSound message board
Hope you took a lunch break.
The WHSmiths mailing list is worth being on - 10% off a £20 order and 15% off a £40+ order with code SUPERSAVER came in yesterday. I’m resisting after spending £100 in the last couple of weeks with the last discount code (and up in London at the weekend for some bricks and mortar record shopping).
Nearly all their money is made from their shops at airports and railway stations (so they’ll be suffering this year like most other businesses)