Walking into a major newsagent-type store in Chester I was amazed to find that the large newspaper stand had disappeared.
In Chester’s WHSmith there used to be a newspaper stand with all the major nationals and regionals, plus a host of specialist and foreign titles, slap-bang in the middle of the store as soon as you walked through the doors.
Now though, it’s been replaced with promotional stands for mobile phones.
You have to walk past these and the aisles of magazines before you get to the papers now.
I don’t know the reason for this change in shop layout, but the front of any store has got to be a very important location for drawing in shoppers and selling products.
Maybe moving a newspaper stand away from this prime location is a sign of the times – people are buying less newspapers.
Perhaps WHSmith's newspaper stand is not working as it once did, an easy money maker encouraging people into the store, so they’ve moved it further back.
And looking at the latest ABC figures, it makes you wonder if newspapers will one day be sold only in specialist shops, like vinyl, VHS videos and the soon to be obsolete-CD.
It's Xmas, hence the layout change. Annoying, innit?
I hope that's the case - but I've been meaning to write this blog since about September.
Then again, they do start putting out the tinsel during the summer holidays nowadays so you're probably right!
Good to see some proof from someone else that WH Smith is becoming an increasingly confusing shop to go into. Maybe it's a ploy to get us to hunt around in the shop for the papers, in the hope we buy another of the increasingly random things they sell? And as for the "here, don't buy that £1.50 bottle of water, but the Independent for a £1 coin and get the water free" promotion, well....
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