It’s one of the stalwarts of the UK high street, dating back 231 years.
And now WHSmith is trying something new – beginning in York.
It has replaced its full name with ‘WHS’, complete with signage to match.
The store on Coney Street in York is one of only ten shops in England to trial the rebrand.
It is unclear whether the trial will be extended to the other 1,100 stores across the UK. However, it has prompted a strong reaction from customers on social media, many of whom aren’t happy with the change.
Here are some of the responses:
“Like many people, I thought it was a dead ringer for the NHS signs. The new logo was really badly thought out“
“Looks too much like the NHS logo. They even chose the same font”
“Probably won’t wait as long at WHS as you will at NHS”
“The shop needs a new name! WHS does not reflect the brand very well. They should have kept the original type face to avoid NHS walk in centre look, or gone back to the orange brown and ditched the blue”
“Takes a real genius to rename an iconic brand into something unrecognisable”
“Which half-wits came up with and approved this idea, chucking away one of the best known UK High Street brand names?”
The new branding comes after WHSmith announced in April that it would open a further 120 shops after doubling profits in a year.