Friday, October 22, 2004

Newsagent Annoyance

WHSmith this week reported more profit warnings. It is a stark time for one of the nations most famous brands with specialist shops like Waterstones, Rymans and HMV wrestling in on its lines. There’s also the threat of online shops such as Amazon and Play.

I used to love WHSmith, before I discovered the (cheaper) joys of online shopping it was where I bought all my music and videos. Now I use it simply as a newsagents although it’s no longer much good as that. Magazines I used to buy have disappeared from it’s shelves. Source, a cocktail and drinking guide I now have to buy online and it also stopped stocking UFO Magazine (which has ceased publication since then anyway.) Now almost every time I visit the magazines are moved around occupying different shelves and a regular monthly merry-go round. Some weeks SFX and Star Trek are tucked away at the back and others their in a completely different area. Edge is often hard to find as is Fortean Times.

So there you Mr W H Smith that is why you’re losing money, it’s because you keep moving the magazines around! Human beings love routine and familiarity. When I walk into a shop I want to know exactly where I’m heading to to buy the product I want. Sadly they’ve lost my custom now, I can pick up the Times in Starbucks and a smaller shop down the road has a fantastic range of magazines which are always in the same shelf space every week!

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