Any other business - 11/10

WH SMITH’S reputation has been left slightly the worse for wear after criticism over the shabby state of its carpets. One retail analyst yesterday said stores had “as much aesthetic appeal as a 1970s job centre” and there is even a Twitter account dedicated to “documenting the wonders of the abject carpets”. And while new chief executive Steve Clarke assured The Capitalist yesterday that the group spent £39m on the upkeep of its stores last year, even he had to admit: “with 9m customers every week, carpets do tend to get worn.”