W H SMITH STATIONARY

Retailers W H Smith have won yet another least-liked position in the annual Which? survey of customer satisfaction, the eighth year it has made the worst two.

The chain scored 58%, way below stores such as Lush and Savers (81%), Bodycare (79%) Waterstones (78%) and below Rymans (66%) and Clintons (60%)

Smiths were recently pilloried for their exploitation of the vulnerable at their hospital based shops after a 75ml tube of toothpaste was found to be costing £7.99. After being challenged on the price Smiths claimed it was a pricing error, with the correct price being £2.49, and have donated the £711 raised from the sale of 89 tubes to charity.

Given that the same 75ml tube of toothpaste is 80pence in Tesco and £1 in Boots, Smith’s marketeers need to be told that they are still more than two and a half times more expensive in their 129 hospital shops, which serve a captive market, and that exploiting the sick is not great PR.

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