WH Smith - which operates in Malta - has been ranked the UK's worst High Street retailer for the second year in a row, according to a Which? survey of 7,700 shoppers. The poll, which covered 100 retailers, rated the chain "very poor" for value for money and in-store experience.
Homebase/Bunnings and Sports Direct were the next worst performers, while Richer Sounds and John Lewis were at the top of the table. WH Smith said just 586 customers had commented on its stores in the survey. "This survey... is neither statistically relevant nor meaningful relative to our loyal customer base," a spokeswoman said.
"Every week we serve three million customers in our 600 UK High Street stores and have maintained our presence on the high street where many other retailers are closing stores."
It is the ninth year in a row that WH Smith has been ranked in the bottom two of the survey.
According to Which?, the retailer achieved a satisfaction score of just 50% this time, after consumers criticised its "cramped and messy" stores. One customer complained that staff were "unhelpful", while another said their local store was "untidy and too small for comfort". It is not the first time the firm's shops have been criticised - a spoof Twitter account that mocks the state of its carpets has attracted 24,000 followers.
Last week, outgoing boss Steve Clarke admitted it was an issue, saying it was the "most painful aspect of my job".