Our business goal is to be Britain’s most popular high street stationer, bookseller and newsagent. Quite a challenge in a competitive retail world, but we’ve successfully held our place since 1792 on an ever-changing high street, adapting and evolving to remain as relevant as ever. The proof? Some hundreds of millions of customers every year.
In each of our 600+ High Street stores, you’ll find a wide range of stationery, books, newspapers, magazines and impulse products. Life is very fast-paced and subject to peak trading periods – Christmas, Easter and ‘Back to School’, as well as the daily pre-work, post-work and lunchtime rushes. That makes for an exciting experience if you’re part of a WHSmith store team. Plus with stores UK-wide, from market towns to flagship, out-of-town shopping centres, there are plenty of opportunities to move around and progress. Our High Street stores have generally larger product ranges than our Travel formats, and our teams have to deal with the challenges this presents. To do this they pull together to live and breathe our values – Customer Focus, Accountability, Drive for Results and Valuing our People.
Our High Street teams can benefit from the range of working patterns we have available, making it easier for them to find a role that can fit around their other commitments; we offer part-time weekend jobs, childcare-friendly hours and various other arrangements.
In many cases, customers have grown up with their local WHSmith store, it creates the kind of loyalty which is rarely found in other businesses. Our people get to know their customers, often over many years and also get to meet their changing expectations. For example, we were one of the first high street businesses to introduce contactless payments and self-service checkouts. With research and development on-going, who knows what the next innovation will be?