Sunday, August 26, 2007

What is it with W.H.Smith and chocolate?

Whenever I go into W.H.Smith, whether it be locally or at Heathrow airport or, yesterday, at a northern motorway services, the person at the check-out asks:

"Would you like some chocolate?"

Excuse me. I have selected the items I wanted from your huge range which includes numerous chocolate items. I came into W.H. Smith because you have, for 217 years, had a matchless reputation for supplying newspapers, magazines, books and stationery. If I wanted chocolate I would have gone to Thorntons across the road and stuffed myself silly. I try to maintain a -25% body fat ratio and you enticing me with chocolate does not help that.

They obviously train their check-out staff to push the chocolate. It is bizarre, but I can see the business sense to it. But they are in danger of having their fine reputation as a newsagent/bookseller being subsumed by a reputation as the shop where you always get asked whether you want chocolate.

PS. Full marks to the guy in W.H.Smith Newbury who now sees me coming and doesn't mention the C-word.


  1. This is very true. It annoys me every time!

  2. Thank you for that comment Chris and welcome to the LibDem blogging community - I have added you to my blogroll.

  3. Well, sometimes I'm in the mood for Dairy Milk, and sometimes Thorntons, and often both...

    The problem I have with Smiths trying to serve me chocolate isn't the chocolate, nor the temerity, but the price: I always raise an eyebrow at a half-melted 200g of Dairy Milk at a till with "half price - only £1.10" stuck on it, when ASDA or Woolies would be flogging it, full price, at £1.

    Still, I get papers, mags and comics at Smiths, so they're not all bad.

  4. Had to comment again here. As I mentioned in the other comment - yeah, they love the ol' Till Point Conversations. Sorry to say that the WHS Exec will never let go of them!

    I wonder if some day, it will be banned, because of the obesity epidemic that threatens to kill us all!! (ahem)