Much against my better judgement I ventured into this overcrowded mess that is W.H.Smiths and sought Christmas cards. Usually I buy cards from the St Columba's Hospice in Edinburgh where my sister died but there are one or two folks I like to send specific cards to. These are usually less than serious cards, the sentimental or unbiblical Christmas ones are not for me so give them a giggle I say, if you can afford the prices!
I chose some, wandered through the rather dim, overcrowded shelves and made my way to the checkout. Here the girl was keen to sell me things I din't want, forget to charge the correct price, and then waited until I failed to pick up the merchandise to ask if I wanted a bag. Several cards ought to be an automatic bag, it is in all other shops, yet for years Smiths have failed to offer them. This is a small but mean policy disguised as saving the world but really to cut their costs down. Of course I wished a bag as it was likely that as the yuletide approached I may be going into other shops, and one was produced but I had to pay a penny for it! A penny? How much does the bag cost? Smiths use billions a year and the customer now pays a penny for it? In some places plastic bags are now taxed at 5 pence for 'green' reasons, however with Smiths it is to increase their massive profits and rob the customer. Fifteen years ago when working nearby I often bought a paper and had to stop the dead assistant putting it in a plastic bag automatically. Why a man requires such a bog for a paper I know not but she appeared not to care or indeed actually be alive. Now to save cash we pay a penny for a bag we must demand!
W.H. Smiths have for several years been regarded as one of the worst shops in the High Street, this year again it came out as the very worst and that is no surprise. Sales in shop fell by 5 percent apparently but profits grew 5 percent also, probably because people prefer to shop online rather than visit the dump! Sadly however our last local newsagent closed down and this tragic shop remains open. What a rubbish shop, I feel for those who work there who actually care. I wonder what Smith himself would say if he could look on at what his successful business has become? His standards were higher than the grasping directors of today.