You can have any guidebook you want, as long as it’s DK or Rough Guides

WH Smith, the biggest newsagent chain in the UK, has done a deal with Penguin books so only DK or Roughguides will be available at WHS Travel stores at airports, motorway and railway shops.

I have since been to WH Smith at Stansted and Gatwick and sure enough it’s all DK and Roughguides.

WH Smith Travel Guides

I am usually more organised than to buy a guidebook at the airport, but this deal has put me off buying anything at WH Smith.

The big shops were meant to bring more choice, but sometimes they actually provide less choice. I went into a Tesco Express to get a can of soft drink. The only cans they had available were Coke and Diet Coke. I then went to an independent off licence and they had about 20 types of canned drinks.

Unfortunately this is a growing trend in the UK. Go to any town in Britain and every High St has the same shops selling the same stuff. This phenomenon has been coined clone town.


  1. Will there be any originality left in the UK? I hate the clone High Streets. You could be anywhere. This is very sneaky on WH Smith/DK/Rough Guide’s part because they have a captive audience.

  2. This is very sneaky, and almost a brilliant idea at the same time to squeeze out profit.

  3. That is really annoying – It’s not so bad if you visit a high st WH Smith but still have the choice of other bookshops on the high St, but as WH Smiths have a virtual monopoly at the UK airports, that’s abuse of their position. Not that I don’t think DK & Rough Guides don’t have good guides, but I think at the airport of all places, one would hope to have a bigger selection, not a smaller one.