The stationary and book retailer was voted the worst last year too (Picture: PA)WHSmith has been voted the worst high street shop in the UK for a second time in a survey of more than 100 stores.
The long-standing stationary and book chain has finished bottom of Which?’s annual survey, with more than 7,700 respondents voting on the best in-store experiences.
This is the ninth consecutive year the retailer has been in the bottom two of the poll and came bottom of the list last year.
Shoppers criticised its ‘messy’ shop floors, with one respondent complaining the ‘stores are crowded, dirty and the staff unhelpful’, while another claimed their ‘local store is untidy and too small for comfort.’
The retailer received a customer score of just 50 per cent and was slammed by customers who rated it very poor for value for money, service and in-store experience.
WHSmith finished just behind Homebase/Bunnings which received 53 per cent, while Sports Direct got 54 per cent.
Sports Direct finished in the bottom three (Picture: PA)Sports Direct was even described by one shopper as having ‘a very oppressive atmosphere’.
The findings come as fears grow for the future of the UK high street, following a series of high-profile brands announcing store closures and falling into administration.
Meanwhile, specialist stores came top of the ranking, with the number one spot awarded to Richer Sounds with a score of 89 per cent, just clipped by Rohan at 87 per cent and John Lewis at 86 per cent.
Five of the six highest-scoring shops were specialist retailers, while 88 per cent of shoppers like the hands-on experience of being able to touch or try before buying.
Richer Sounds was praised for its stellar customer service and in-store experience, with shoppers appreciating special touches like having bags carried to their cars, or not having to pay for customer parking.
Shoppers love John Lewis for its reliability, with staff who ‘will sort out any problems that may arise’.
The DIY shop was also voted poorly by retailers (Picture: PA)Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said: ‘Worries about the future of the high street aren’t going away anytime soon, but it’s clear that there is still demand from shoppers for the experience and services offered by physical stores that can’t always be replicated online.
‘Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever if brands want to thrive on the high street. Our findings go to show that if retailers can deliver great value, quality products and first-class customer service, customers will keep coming back.’
The UK’s best and worst high street shops, according to Which?
1) Richer Sounds – 89%2) Rohan – 87%3) John Lewis – 86%4) Hotter Shoes – 84%Lakeland – 84%Toolstation – 84%7) Apple – 83%Bodycare – 83%Crew – 83%10) Screwfix – 82%Seasalt – 82%Waterstones – 82%
101) Clinton Cards – 61%102) Peacocks – 59%House of Fraser – 59%104) New Look – 58%105) River Island – 56%JD Sports – 56%107) Sports Direct – 54%108) Homebase/Bunnings – 53%109) WH Smith – 50%