Work wellbeing score is 62 out of 100
3.2 out of 5 stars.
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WHSmith Employee Reviews for Retail Sales Associate

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Retail Sales Associate133 reviews
United Kingdom133 reviews

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3.2Work-life balance

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Good workplace

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Coworkers were friendly and kind. Management could be rude at times. Overall a good place to work. Pay is minimum wage but fair as you are not overworked.
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Productive and fun workplace

Great place to work, managers and colleagues very supportive. Had an enjoyable few years working here. Pay could be better but shop work is always underpaid
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Insights into WHSmith

Based on 600 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • Fair pay for job
  • Energising work tasks

Relaxed workplace.

A lot of shoplifters that you need to be aware of, nice manager and co-workers. Pretty old store with no air conditioning, no security either. Due to the area there are a lot of elderly people that may annoy you
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A very calm, quiet place to work with a good atmosphere. Most work duties consisted of organising the displays and the storage area. Manager was very nice.
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Depends where you work

I have had mostly positive experiences working for WHSmith but as with most companies, this depends on your immediate manager or supervisor.First employed in the 1990's (while studying as a mature student) as a seasonal night shift assistant at Manchester Airport. The person appointed (permanent employee) as supervisor did a great job, pulling a team together in a limited time & ensuring staff stayed motivated & company targets etc were met.Returned to the company (2020's) following retirement from NHS. Lucky to find a 12 hour weekend position at Stockport Rail Station thanks to the manager & the company equal ops stance. Said manager exemplified great personnel skills & modelled company expectations in an approachable and fair way. During this time I was required to work in an hospital store due to recent rail strike action; I also found this a positive experience.I moved on, due to personal circumstances to a high street store & the difference was palpable. Very poor management, company communication, training & leadership. The flexibility - working extra hours etc- expected (without any discussion) was bordering on ridiculous. Luckily, I felt able to dispute these issues but feel that others may not have the confidence to do so. Management appeared to have little grasp of their own role and function, relying on their cluster manager and fantastic long serving staff members (brilliant but apparently on earlier employment terms and conditions) to action everyday issues and developments.If all has been completed correctly, I am moving again within the company, to an hospital - 
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Great store to work at.

Small team and small store but great place to work at. Often will be lone working and have key holder responsibilities.
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Official response from WHSmith

6 April 2023
Hi there, thankyou for leaving a 5 star review. We love to hear from our current employees so that we can continuously improve. We hope that you will continue to enjoy working with us as we grow!The WHSmith Team

A good start for a first job.

Started working here as my first job. Overall, decent workplace culture, colleagues are great to work with,But there is no advancement in role. The workload is high, and often you'll find yourself having to go above and beyond to stay afloat here. 6/10 - good starting point for a first job, a stepping stone kind of job.


15% discount


Long hours, high workload. Often have to stay behind way longer than anticipated to get the job done properly.
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Just an ok workplace

Ok to work, if desperate. Monthly pay, minimum wage. Often lone working - really thrown in the deepend. A lack of training , a lack of supervision or direction
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Good place

Good place to work. Staff all friendly and helpful. Manager approachable and supportive. Good training that was relevant to the job and pay was fair for what you do
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Friendly environment

WHSmiths was a mixed bag, but I think that was due mostly to cost restrictions which isn’t a surprise.I worked in a good store with a lovely manager, team and regular customers who all quickly became friends. The job wasn’t difficult, and nothing was too stressful. You could just tell that they were stressed about costs, and honestly I wasn’t surprised by this.But this never really affected my job, my hours were never cut (although I have heard of this happening to other staff since then), they were very accommodating with my availability, and very supportive of any decisions I made, whether it be about angry customers or time that I needed to take off from work.The pay was minimum wage but the hours were consistent and shifts never went past 5pm due to the store hours, so this wasn’t a problem with me.Overall this was a job I’ll always look back on fondly.
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Jobs at WHSmith

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a typical day at work: 9-5what you learned: Nothingmanagement: Alrightworkplace culture: Terriblethe hardest part of the job: Staying Awakethe most enjoyable part of the job: Going Home
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It’s ok

I have worked there for 3 years now and it’s a pretty chilled out job most of the time. They have however introduced a thing called solo protect which means that certain stores of certain sizes could mean lone working. Depending on the area you’re working in this could be a good or a bad thing. In my case it’s not a great thing as if you need to close the shop for any reason it’s difficult to have to throw customers out sometimes. Also you don’t get any benefits as such. I pretty much do an assistant managers job and get paid for a sales assistant.
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Productive friendly happy place

I liked it at WH smiths. It was a fun place and time went quickly . There was lots to learn and the team are always helpful .Good for school leavers and students




Short shifts
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Fine, but better retail companies to work for

Minimum wage plus high expectations of staff. Too much responsibility placed on younger workers, and loads of pressure on store management. Progression encouragement poor.


Staff discount. Easy to pick up overtime.


People call in sick alot, so work burden is larger.
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Awful Place To Work

Management is an honest to god joke and not just a shop level. From the top down, everything is just terrible.The company refuses to hire security, despite the fact that we get stolen from basically on a daily basis, and then has a go at us for losing money, despite the fact that we're told not to go after people who have taken stock. The company's decision to charge almost 100% more than any other on almost all of their stock reflects poorly on their own employees, who they underpay and provide no real support for. The only good part of this job is that the people I've met and worked with are, for the most part, really nice and supportive. Never get a job with WHSmith. They will screw you over just like they screw over their customers.
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Team is the best part

I gained so much valuable retail experience working here and my confidence has improved so much. The team is definitely the best part about working here, not so much the higher up management.


Lots of breaks


Low pay, sometimes days are slow
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Enjoyable and friendly

I enjoyed working there, the management were friendly and helpful the atmosphere was relaxed colleagues were always on hand to help if needed always knew what shifts I would be working as they were given in Advance.
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Fun place to work

Great atmosphere with good team work. The work was a little boring but easy . The shifts were short and less people work there now. I would think it would be good for a part time job
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Pretty good for a student job.

For the most part I work weekends, this is beneficial to me as it means I can work around my studies with the occasional over time which I gladly accept. All of my colleagues are nice and are respectful of me. The pay could be a little better but this is more of a company thing than a manager's decision. A fair few customers do comment on how dirty the store is but I think this goes for most stores around the country now since the company doesn't seem to want to spend money on cleaners anymore. Overall, I really like the job and appreciate the role I've been given but the state of WHSmith in recent years has been a gloomy one.
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Flexibility to encourage networks. Also get to advise new local [30m] on the consumer issues [like the TVL]. Hate it when customers mess up self-services
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Slow workplace

Was slow paced, felt like the hours went so slow, had to be escorted due to it being in the airport and waiting times for a pass we’re long, was always cold in the shops, most days was rarely any customers


Good people who worked there


Worst job I’ve had, had to work on something I didn’t apply for, slow days
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Retail Sales Associate at WHSmith

Estimated salary
£8.94 per hour

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Overall rating

Based on 2,363 reviews

Ratings by category

3.2 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.6 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.9 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.0 out of 5 stars for Management
3.0 out of 5 stars for Culture

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