The Works is probably the High Street shop that I most enjoy browsing. It calls itself a bookshop but also sells a lot of art supplies and craft items as well as some stationary and gifts. I find the stick is always changing and I never know what I will find next in there.
If you have not been in there for a while you may not realise that they now have a loyalty card scheme. This is generous giving 5 points per pound spent. Each point is worth a penny. The card also entitles you to some extra exclusive discounts and even some complete freebies like seeds. These offers come through by Email so you don't miss them. Points can be collected online too. I have not shopped with the company this way. Actually I was a bit put off the prospect of that when I heard a staff member ask another what they should do about someone on the phone who had been sent completely the wrong order by the online division. I do prefer to look at books and art materials myself anyway so online was not going to appeal to me in that respect anyway. Plus I often find The works cheaper than Amazon.
The Works local to me have more non fiction than fiction. The fiction tends towards the family saga and old fashioned romance. Such books are often on multibuy. The pre school fiction selection is great but teens and tweens aren't so well catered for.
Baking and cooking books are a strong selection as are craft books. The art supplies can be a bit up and down in stock levels but represent often huge savings. Anyone into card making should make a beeline there too as the range is comprehensive.
I 100 per cent recommend The works to anyone but say go in the week if you can because weekend queues can be big and slow moving.
The Works advertises itself as a discount book store, but it is so much more than that. The stock which frequently takes up space in this shop is
- Children's and adults books.
- Children's Toys
- Children's Crafts
- Board Games and Jigsaws
- DVD box sets
- Art Supplies
I regularly use the works for all of the above, but my visits mainly consist of crafting and art supplies.
I regularly paint and draw, and this has everything you would need; paintbrushes, canvas, art paper, oil, acrylic and water paints, sketching pads, pencils, pens, the list could go on. All the items are great quality for creating artwork with and I always get good results, and the prices a a LOT cheaper than stationers and specialist art shops.
Another project I currently have on the go is a dolls house. Again, I get nearly all my items for this from The Works. Their craft items include - bundles of fabric, buttons, wooden ornaments, minature picture frames, ribbon, spray paints, mini themed items such as pegs, letter cubes, flowers...etc. They also sell crafting boards, knives, storage and sewing boxes.
Another bonus is that The Works have now introduced a member card which you can log all your purchases on and build up money off items each quarter, which is great when you a regular shopper there like myself.
It's a great shop, and one of the shops I visit the most in my town, I just wish it was a bit bigger!
The Works is back in Northampton! It’s been gone for around 8 years and always a mystery why it closed, the perfect town center store for all the family. It’s like a cut priced WH Smiths and offers everything from fiction books for adults to finger paints for kids. It has an online presence but it is the sort of store you need on the higgstreet to pick up things like cheap A4 lined paper and pens and pencils for the kids school and they even have more specialist kit for artists and technical drawers.
The fiction books are not bang up to date but the newest stock is a considerably saving from Waterstones. Sometimes you want to buy a Christmas or birthday present for someone but not pay the earth, especially more distant relatives. You can pick up stuff like Britney Spears autobiography or early Hunger Games books for less than fiver and ideal for nieces and cousins. For the more discerning they do basic books on art and history and always a good chunk on special interest like war and hobbies.
The competition comes from Wilkinson’s and the pound stores, Poundland and the 99p Store staring each other down just up the main shopping street. Isn’t it weird how Poundland have bought out the 99P Store? You would have thought it would have been the other way around. I would say The Works is more expensive than all concerned as far as stationary and stuff goes but the others can’t compete on selection. The book discounts are large and The Works wins hands down thee. They do a range of toys but they can’t beat the bigger stores there, perhaps a simply a retail mechanism to get the kids to drag mom into the stores.
I would say books and stationary is The Works edge over the other discount stores and I have picked up some deals. There are plenty if film books like The Maze Runner series, The Hunger Games (£7.99) and the Twilight books (£9.99). In fact they do box book sets at huge savings. The website has a much chunkier selection and you can get great deals on kid’s books there, ten for ten quid at the moment, great for busy young moms. The Works is very good for educational stuff and plenty of foreign language dictionaries and GCSE and A-Level study books. They can’t compete for quantity with WH Smith son that but they can for price. The website has lots of vouchers codes and discounts so deals to be had on that.
I hate to mention Frozen and Disney but moms will know their little girls want that stuff and The Works has some fully licensed merchandise on display in store. They also do quirky things you could buy as joke presents for work mates and surprisingly good quality artists stuff like canvas and fine hair brushes. If you buy those in somewhere like Hallmark you’re talking big bucks.
From its name you'd imagine that this High Street shop would sell everything. "The Works." But it doesn't. It sells mostly cheap books and, with over three hundred shops around the United Kingdom, the chances are that there's a branch near you.
It's basically the Poundland of book shops. They pile lots of books in, price them as cheaply as they can and the customer never knows what's going to be available on any given day. If you see something that you like in a branch of The Works, grab it as soon as you see it. It may never be there again. Then again, they may have thousands of copies and they'll clog up the shelves for months on end. You never know.
As an example of the kind of savings you can get, my local branch currently (January 2014) has boxed sets of George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" novels (filmed as "Game of Thrones") for sale. They have a printed retail price of £60 but The Works are selling them for just £32. Or you could by the complete "Hunger Games" trilogy for eight pounds instead of twenty-four. If thriller fiction is more your style then you can get eight different Lynda La Plante novels for just thirteen pounds. Those are the kind of prices that you're looking at here. But as I say the stock varies massively and changes regularly. They usually have a huge display of cookery books too, with most of the latest TV chef offerings available for a half or a third of cover price. As you can imagine these make great Christmas and birthday gifts.
The thing that I like best about The Works is their huge selection of novels priced at three for a fiver. You can find a lot of big names in this section (they had all three "Fifty Shades of Grey" books in recently) but I like to try authors that I've never read before at this price. True, I've bought some that haven't ultimately been to my taste but I've had a lot of nice surprises too which has encouraged me to seek out more work by authors that I'd previously not known had existed.
If you have young children then The Works is an absolute must. Not only do they sell lots of young reader books (they usually have a large stock of books featuring Disney and other well known characters) but they sell lots of crafting equipment really cheaply too. Most of it is aimed at youngsters so if you want to get messy but don't want to spend a fortune then try this shop.
Most branches have a section of audiobooks too, again cheaply prices. I like to listen to books while traveling so at three for ten pounds it's a great place to stock up on discs. It's important to say here that these are the proper item, usually read by some famous name. There's nothing 'knock-off' about them at all. As with the books, they're just overstock - the producer hasn't been able to sell as many as expected of the full-priced product so The Works can buy them up cheaply and in bulk and pass that saving on to the likes of you and me.
They also stock DVDs. These aren't likely to be big name blockbusters (although you never know) but are more often satellite television series collections. A boxed set of things like "Meerkat Manor" or "Ice Road Truckers" for around three or five pounds. As with everything else at the shop you have to just grab what's there.
And that's the main problem that I can see with The Works. You can't ever plan to buy anything there. It's the ultimate impulse purchase store. It's impossible to say "I want to buy (x), I'll see if they have it in at "The Works". You just turn up and see what they have that you didn't know that you wanted! In that respect it could be said that it's not a great shop, that it only exists by making you buy things that you didn't really want.
But at these prices, it's usually worth a risk.
This shop has been in my town centre since I remember. However I've only started going in it for the past few years. They always have great offers outside the store, but there was nothing that really interested me until I spotted the twilight series in there at a fantastic price and boy was I missing out!!
Inside the shop they sell mainly books, arts and crafts and children's toys/books all at discount prices. As soon as you walk into the shop your greeted by the most popular books which to be fair, I always want to buy everyone!
The works in my town is no Waterstones. There are books everywhere, a lot in the wrong places, and the space to move around in the shop is sometimes quite small. But the store is normally quite busy and all the staff seem to be busy so I'm sure they get round to it. It maybe a different picture if you head in in the morning.
There are many different kinds of books in there from fiction to many non-fiction books like biographies, cookery and history books and there always at fantastic prices too! When I've been over to the arts and crafts section everything seems to be at a great price and some discounted, however I don't really go in to other shops to look at these kind of things so I can't comment greatly. But they do have some great products in there. I have bought some of the kids books to (my niece and nephew). I spend just as much time in that section as any other.
A lot of the books go under the £10 mark, more under the £5. Some are a little more expensive but they are normally a whole series of books.
I've never had a bad experience with the staff in there, they always seem to have a little smile on there face if you catch their eye. They all seem to be busy so they don't really ask you if you need help, however if you ask them something they all seem happy to help.
I absolutely love this shop and would tell anyone to go there who is looking for a good book or bargain. Be prepared to spend a bit of time in there looking. Though this may just be me, I'm a woman, who loves to shop, especially at discount prices. Certainly a place to go for some Christmas presents (let's face it, it's coming up)!
They do have a website also, which has a wider variety of products and is worth a look. Though I prefers the shop myself. www.theworks.co.uk
I thought I would review this little shop since we got our first one in my local town a few months ago.
In all honesty, it might not live up to everyone's idealisms, due to its not so elegant exterior and the fact the books are not all up to date nor do they provide the selection you're given in the likes of Waterstone's or Amazon. However, the latter is brilliant and I have spent so much money on there buying CDs, books, vinyl, bags, phone accessories, DVDs... you name it. Of course Waterstone's is perfect as it has everything a bookshop could require, but to me books are particularly beautiful so it's special to actually hold them and at the risk of sounding pretentious, pick them up and gain an idea of their interior prior to buying them; also as far as the high street shop is concerned, they can be quite expensive which is where this little shop is worthwhile.
I have been in this shop numerous times since its opening and bought books, DVDs and other little things. While the interior of this particular shop is not messy particularly (I couldn't take it as I'd spend all my time putting things in their correct place!) it is small and a little cramped. I have found a couple of books out of place but generally it's okay. It's always slightly difficult to browse the non-fiction books when the shop is packed and they are tucked away in a tiny corner. I have done a little dodge dancing in there (that's my name of the game anyway).
As you go in you're greeted with... books, naturally. All at a very good price. That is what took me by surprise. It looks like a cheap shop as it doesn't boast the clean elegance of a Waterstone's but nonetheless you could grab some wonderful bargains in this shop. Although cheap it doesn't feel, how do you put this... tacky or devoid of care like Poundland or shops like that who have to leave signs asking customers not to take the contents out of the packet until they paid in my local one (I mean... honestly, isn't that obvious!). No, The Works is quite charming, at the moment, anyway.
Judging from my last visit in December (in the days we rushed around doing our festive shopping which is so long ago now!):
They have fiction and a good variety of non-fiction ranging from history to cookery and music and biographies and coffee table books, many of which are glossy and new and can be bought under a tenner, or maybe even a fiver. I haven't bought any fiction yet but I have bought a big World War II hardback at about £5 and an old Hollywood photo book at about £2, which is small in size but a nice addition to my old book collection and has good quality contents inside. If you're interested in cookery, they have some lovely recipe books as well as some glossy showbiz hardback books with lots of photos. I also got two or three classic film DVDs which I barely ever find in any other high street shop but I think they have some more modern ones, albeit not a huge selection either way because it is predominantly a bookshop really. DVDs are also priced valuably and it's worth checking there.
During the festive period I managed to buy some lovely, glittery Christmas cards (which were also on offer - 3 at the price of 2) at about £2; they always have little miscellaneous items on sale as well, such as stationary and gifts.
I always say hello and goodbye to staff in shops but have never really got anything out of at he staff there but I certainly haven't found them to be rude either.
When I return I'm not sure they update the shop very regularly but you're sure to find something you like when you go in because the prices are so low. Like I stated our particular shop is small and it can be a little cramped and difficult to get around and I could understand it wouldn't be everyone's first choice, especially as there's a grander Waterstone's around the corner or Amazon available online. However, Waterstone's can often be empty which I think is due to the pricing so this shop provides a little, cheaper alternative. I think this is a good shop if you like big, glossy non-fiction books that look striking on your shelves or on a coffee table, even if they may be readable only once. A good shop if you want style over substance as there are some wonderful books there.
You're also able to order from their website and it definitely has that cheap, market-style look; something tells me they have their biggest ever sale ;)
The Works is a fabulous shop that has a shop in what seems like most towns and cities across the uk. The one in our town isn't very big but it is brimming with goodies. The goodies are mainly book based and it is books at quality prices that they specialise in but there is always a good selection of art and craft supplies.
The works do not specialise in mainstream chart books or any other books but is more of a shop that has a bit of a miss match of them all. With a selection of most modern authors and some of the classics all at usually half the rrp - or less! There is something for all the family. There are always a good selection of books that are on offer - normally 3 for £5 saving you a few pennies. These are usually fiction. However they do carry factual books too.
In fact there is a good selection of factual books covering most subjects from cooking to gardening, drawing to ghosts, poetry to war. Again these books are all reasonably priced and if you ever need a book for kids homework etc it is worth a trip to the works before you hit the mainstream shops like Whsmiths or Waterstones. You will be suprised at the price differences!!
The works carry a good range of art supplies and is deffinitely one of the cheapest places to get canvas's from as they carry a vast range of different sizes, all good quality. You can also stock up on your paints, paper, brushes and more from there. Great for artists just starting out giving them the basics for a more affordable price.
The selection of kids books is worth mentioning with all of the major cartoon characters etc making an appearance.Always at reasonable prices. They really are some bargains to be found!!
Alongside all this the Works carry a good range of random bits, these differ with the seasons but all carry a range of affordable gifts, ranging from candles to toys,teddy bears to dvd box sets. Theres even the wrapping paper and cards to go with it!!
So next time you are in town and you go to walk by, nip in, take a look and see what bargains you can find!!
The works also have a website. www.theworks.com where you can find a selection of items available in the shops.Delivery is extra but well worth it and you can often get offers such as free delivery etc from time to time.
I think that 'The Works' is a great shop to buy discounted goods. I can only really speak of the one I often frequent, which is located in Laurie Walk, in Romford's Liberty shopping centre, in Essex. I understand that 'The Works' stores can be found in many shopping centres nationally.
This particular store is on one level and is medium sized. Inside there are shelves of goods and tables dotted around to display books and arts and crafts equipment. It is easier to make your way around in here than in Card Factory or W.H.Smith, in my opinion.
It also provides an online delivery service, which I haven't tried but if you are interested the site is www.theworks.co.uk
This store offers books discounted by around 75%. Most paperbacks are on sale for £1.99 each or three for £5.00. Three books for five pounds I think is a great price for new books. The downside is that the choice of books is not extensive and they aren't the latest books out. I've bought quite a lot of Catrin Collier novels from here but they are part of a series and it's often difficult to get the next one. I usually just have a browse and find something readable but wouldn't go in here every week for books as there wouldn't be enough change around in stock.
The Works sells some greetings cards, hardback books in both fiction and non fiction, Dvds, toys, games and craft sets. I purchased a lovely hardback art book showing the work of various artists.
I think the outside of the shop gives the impression of it being a bit dowdy and downmarket and I believe this shop could be easily bypassed. In fact it is strange that, although this place offers some really good bargains, I haven't seen a long queue whilst shopping here. I am glad that I actually bothered to wander in here sometime ago (I can't remember what drew me in) and actually got to the back of the store to find the arts and craft section.
Three of my children have studied G.C.S.E. art and my youngest is currently studying this subject at A level. If you, or your offspring, have studied this subject you'll understand the amount of equipment needed and the very it's high cost. Thus the reason why I visit, 'The Works'.
I went in here last Saturday to purchase black poster paint on behalf of my daughter, as she has to paint several shoe boxes in black, as part of her coursework. There's a lot more to it than that as the boxes are to house her sketches. I couldn't find anywhere in our local high street that sold craft paint in anything other than tiny pots ( I miss good old Woolys!) so was pleased to find that The Works had on it's shelves, 568ml bottles of black ready mixed poster paint for 99 pence.
I purchased two of bottles of poster paint and to help to speed up the shoe box painting, a pack of ten smooth foam brushes. These are pieces of foam on a stick sized at 4" x 3", 4" x 2" and 2" x 1". The brushes cost only, £1.99 for the pack.
In the past I've bought an art portfolio from here plus canvases, and more drawing and acrylic paper than you could imagine, brushes, acrylic paints and pastels. I have found all of these at very reasonable prices, more favourable thatn Sussex Bookstores or Hobbycraft. Some of this may not be the best available quality wise, but there are several brands on offer. They also sell easels and some impressive art sets. I like it here because, as well as loving bookshops I am drawn to art supplies. I keep meaning to buy some paints for myself and re start on a past hobby. The trouble is, my daughter's art work takes over my home so, at the moment, perhaps one artist in the home is enough!
Also this shop sells a nice selection of craft sets for adult and children, again, reasonably priced. You know the type of thing- felt, wool, coloured paper, pipe cleaners etc. Also, you can find lovely bits and pieces to create your own greetings cards.
So, if you want to buy books or art and craft equipment at discounted prices, then I think this shop, although not having the extensive supplies of larger shops, is definitely well worth a visit.
The Works is a discount book specialist, with hundreds of stores throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one store in the Republic of Ireland.
It is one of my favourite stores, and whenever I happen to pass by one, I always make time to go in and browse for a while, often finding a great bargain in the process.
The Works sells mainly books, usually at significant discounts (60% - 75%), but also small gifts, art materials, CDs, DVDs, toys and games.
The stores tend to be of small to medium size, which consequently limits the amount of stock they can have instore.
As such, the selection of books is no where near as numerous as that of larger high street bookstores - Waterstone's or Blackwell's, for example - never mind Amazon.
However, what they do have tends to be surprisingly interesting and (regardless of the release date) "new" to the buyer's eyes:
Apart from their modern biography section, which is filled with the common fare of assorted celebrity biographies widely available everywhere else, The Works seems to stock books that probably have not been featured on other bookshops' window displays, newspaper reviews or been given high profile, expensive promotional campaigns by their publishers.
The result is that these books, which are mostly of high quality and that have existed largely under the radar since their release, are given exposure which they would not have got in larger bookstores, where they would have been lost amidst the Top 40 books of the moment, and the perennial classics.
In The Works, their inclusion in such a small collection makes them inevitably visible and I have discovered quite a few special books among these.
The store stocks a wide range of books, from the aforementioned biographies and literature classics to history, music, sports and travel.
They also sell a large (comparatively, by their standards) variety of books about gardening, cooking, health and well being, and DIY and crafts.
But by far my favourite of all there is on offer is the outstanding collection of hardback "coffee table" books.
These oversized and beautiful books on diverse topics (art, nature, history...) can be found in all their vibrantly colourful glory priced at a fraction of their recommended retail price.
The Works usually have one of these books open on display, and the last time I was at my local store, it was a gigantic biographical photobook about Elvis Presley. Now, I don't particularly care for Elvis, and I don't know anybody with a coffee table large enough to accommodate it, but it certainly was beautiful to look at.
In addition to stocking interesting books at low prices, The Works also has the distinction of being the most friendly bookstore I have ever been to - and I have been to a fair few.
Whether this is the result of their superior recruitment practices and standards or merely the luck of the draw, the fact is that I have frequented several of their stores across London, and in my experience the staff in all of them have been invariably welcoming and friendly.
I recommend a visit (or many) to this store to everyone who likes books and enjoys finding exciting and unexpected book bargains.
The Works is a National discount book store, that sells Books, and plenty of other stuff too. There seems to be more and more The Works Stores popping up these days, and a new one was built in my town centre just before christmas.
The main selling point of the store is books, but hardly any of the books are new releases, and most of them tend to be fiction novels, childrens books and random non fiction books on things like cookery and David Beckham. I have occasionally found a brilliant bargain in this store. I got Alan Carr's Autobiography for £3.99 when it was till on sale in WH Smiths for £16.99!! Books like this for such great prices are rare though, and I am yet to see a massive best seller in the store, like Twilight or New Moon.
They also sell random DVD's, like Elvis, Manga and random childrens shows, and these sell for quite cheap, like £2.99 or 2 for £5! I have also seen many a childs toy and game for sale in this store, including slinky's, wack-a-mole, mini cricket sets and bouncy balls. You can also buy some art supplies in my local The Works, things like acrylic paints, paint brushes, sketch books, large card and sticky back plastic.
I have even seen anti-virus software for sale in store, at a bargain price but it was a software I had not heard of before, so how credible it was I do not know. I have asked in the store if they could order certain books in, like newer books or books from a certain genre, but they have never been able to do this for me, as they only stock certain items. They have nothing I would generally browse and buy, like wrestling books or DVD's, so it seems I am stuck buying these in expensive places lol.
The stores seems to be a little hectic in the layout. The walls are lined with shelves, that are stocked with items, but there are also random stalls and tables all over the store that I find myself having to weave in and out of a lot, as well as having to watch out for kids toys and bouncy balls left on the floor! There is also the odd display box jutting out too, which I have been known to walk into a few times!
The staff are generally ok, they help you when you ask a question, but stand there looking lost and you will stand there till they close. They also do not seem so willing to be there, and hardly make a conversation when they serve you. The staff can be recognised by the blue polo shirts they wear as uniform, with The Works logo printed on it.
All in all, this is an ok store, and you can get some good little stocking fillers at christmas time, or some cool gifts for younger children on birthdays, but this is not the first store I would think of when buying books. I give it a 3 out of 5, as it is not great, but not awful either.
*This review is also on Ciao under the name of Hailee*
The Works is one of those shops that really doesn't seem to quite know what it wants to be. If you stand outside and look in, chances are what you'll see is loads of books, a fair few people and a lot of mess! I suppose most people would classify it as a cheap book shop primarily, but actually it does have quite a lot more than that for sale, but other than books and art materials, you can never be quite certain what sort of products you'll find in there.
My nearest 'The Works' is in Central Milton Keynes, so I don't visit it very often as I generally avoid CMK like the plague because it's usually packed with people who are almost always trying to be everywhere at once, don't look where they're going, and like to walk 4 abreast round the place being touristy. (Sorry, I'm not the worlds greatest people person). When I do go into town and brave the crowds, I do so in a wheelchair. The place is just too big for me to manage otherwise. Now with regards to 'The Works' what this means is that of course I have to negotiate the store in said wheelchair. Hmmm... this is definitely easier said than done! (I should say I've been to stores in a couple of other towns too, and it doesn't seem that my local store is unusual in being like this, all those I've visited have had issues with accessibility).
As I've mentioned, the store generally looks quite messy from the outside - and when you get in there, you find that appearances aren't deceptive on this occasion. Manipulating a wheelchair round narrow isles (and they are pretty narrow here), isn't easy at the best of times. When books are dropped on the floor and kicked around a bit, a few boxes of puzzles or kids toys stacked badly so that all the corners stick out into the isle just where you need them not to so that you can turn a corner, it becomes down right impossible to do without someone going ahead of you sweeping the way as it were. I'm lucky with this, I usually have hubby with me who's pretty good at knowing what's gonna be in the way and removing it or asking staff to do so.
Ok, the products: As I mentioned this shop sells a lot of cheap books. If you're after one of the classics - Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte etc. you'll find that this place is excellent for getting yourself a cheap copy. They also sell modern books too, but what they have in stock can be quite variable - I get the feeling that they work on the basis of buying in overstock or something, so they have different things at different times and it's really a matter of just keeping on popping in to see what's new.
As well as books, the store has a fairly good selection of cheapish art materials - drawing paper, canvasses, pastels, pencils, watercolour and oil paints, as well as easels and those weird little mannequin doll things that you can pose so you get the stance of a human figure right when drawing - do they have a name?
Beyond these two things, there's usually some sort of bits and bobs aimed at kids, it could be board games or jigsaws, it could be fuzzy felts and bags of feathers, it's kind of hard to tell you what to expect as it does vary so much. I have to admit that I've found it quite useful at times for picking up the odd bit of whatever as extras for the kids in the family at Christmas time.
I've also known them to have things like greetings cards, wrapping paper, party bits and pieces (balloons, streamers etc.), craft materials, CDs (mostly classical or obscure), DVDs - again you're more likely to find things on steam trains or films with no one you've ever heard of rather than blockbusters, but it's worth a look as there is occasionally the odd gem to be had. Diaries, calendars, computer games and software, and even hairslides are things I've seen in there, so really a bit of a mishmash.
I'm never quite convinced whether this store is a good idea to be honest. It's kind of useful in that it's cheap, but it's kind of not useful in that you never know what you'll find in there, and whether the fight to get round the place will be worth while or not. I guess I have to say weighing up things as much as I can, that generally speaking I do like it, but mostly because I am a sucker for a bargain.
Originally an Arts and Crafts shop, The Works is a nice, cosy shop that has a pretty eclectic range of books, art products and decorations.
Although on the surface, The Works looks like it mostly sells bits of old tat, you're likely to find something you like, the range of books especially is incredibly varied, mostly though they seem to specialize in things like Pet books, Cooking books, Classic thrillers and a great range of really good reference books on philosophy, mathematics and science. There's some good study aids to be found here too, alongside some great art implements, paints, canvases and the like which are priced in a very varied way, but all very reasonable.
My favourite thing about The Works is that it has a huge range of penguin classics literature which is always priced at just a few pounds a book. Tens and tens of classic authors at really great prices.
Around Christmas time, their decorations are also really cheap, and although sometimes a little bit chintzy, they always have some good quality materials. This is a brilliant arts and book shop, and I really hope that it survives the current financial climate.
Basically although this doesn't look like much from outside, The Works is a really great shop and whilst you're walking past all the silly sundry items, you are pretty much guaranteed to see something to make you go;
I first discovered The Works at Rochester on a shopping trip about 6 years ago. I was out looking for ideas for Christmas and had quite a few bits still to get. My main problem was finding some cheap but decent stocking fillers and something different for nephews and nieces.
I stumbled into The Works thinking it was just a cheap bookshop and thought I'd have a browse for some new books.
I was quite surprised at just how much sold and found some lovely little gifts, stocking fillers and a few bits for me too.
The Works is basically a value bookshop that sells all types of books, art supplies, childrens toys and activities, gifts and games.
What you will find tends to vary from store to store and what you find in there one week may be gone the next. It is very much a shop where you have to grab it while you can. Their stock changes and they appear to have new stock coming in as often as daily sometimes.
The Works has fantastic savings throughout the store. You pick up fairly new release books at a very good price and they can sometimes have a saving as big as 80% off of the reccommended retail price. I have picked up some great chic lit books and cookery books at a fraction of the price I would have paid elsewhere.
The Works also sell a good range of craft products. The type and quantity do vary alot like the other stock but you can still save a lot.
During the holiday seasons The Works sell addition products in all their stores. At Christmas time you will find cheap diaries, calendars, gift wrap and bags, cards and decorations.
I have shopped in several branches many different times now. I always find the staff helpful and polite and really can't fault them at all.
Look out for their sales when you can save even more!
This has got to be my saviour at half terms and holidays for the kids. We have just recently come back from a trip to this shop, the Freeport branch, and came back with loads of goodies.
The Works is a discount book store also that sells the following:
*audio visual products.
They have a website www.theworks.co.uk and also various branches across the country.
The website is set out really well. It isn't conusing and I find it really helpful. Along the top are the catagories and also down the left hand side there is the selections of books or games etc.
You can also input the ISBN number or title of the book/game you want in the right hand side.
In order to shop on line you have to set up an account but it doesn't take to long to do. I would also recommend signing up to the news letter so you can receive updates and information about offers.
So as I was saying, we have just come back from the Freeport branch and Ive got to say, they are great. My kids always want to visit as they have a wide range of products that they love.
As you walk in the shop, there are stalls all of the shop floor and sections at the back and round the edges.
The sections are clearly marked:
*Health and Wellbeing
*Craft and DIY
*Food & Drink
*Sports and loads more.
They hold the books in racks that are easily accessible. You don't have to reach up too high or stoop to low to get the copy you need. The prices are clearly marked up so you don't have to ask a member of staff for help.
The stalls are also laid out in the same way. They have the toys and games in the middle and some more books laid out. On the odd stall, they tend to have stationary and calenders. Again, they are all labelled up clearly and offers are normally at the front.
The tills are situated in the centre of the stores and are jammed with great little trinkets (I normally come out with something from there). All the staff wear bright blue tshirts that normally have the logos on and are always helpful.
I have got to say that these are the best prices that I have found. I have always been a fan of reading and try to pass this onto my kids. I never allow the kids to write in their books or mistreat them in anyway and always top their book case up as much as possible.
I begrudge paying so much for story books at places like WHSmith and Waterstones when you can get them for 60% cheaper here.
For example: Horrid Henry books are normally around £9.99 in WHSmiths and you can get them here for £1.99, thats over 77% saved. I think that these are on the kids offer of 4 books for £5.
They also have an offer of 3 books (£1.99 each) for £5.00, this includes authors such as Patricia Cornwall, Ian Rankin, Dean Koontz and loads more. These books are normally around £7.99 and you can save up to 75% off at The Works.
When we went in yesterday, they had the offer on for 4 kids books for £5.00. I purchased 2 Mr Men books and 2 story books that we can read at night. You would have thought that they were rubbish quality books or just picture books, but they weren't. They are great quality and full of words.
I am that impressed, I will be returning to get more for the kids.
Following my book sucess, the kids ventured over to the games and toys. I ended up with a handful of arts and crafts, bubbles, some sort of pumping goo, a huge rubber spikey ball with a face on, a DVD of Dinosaurs, a puppet, 2 jigsaws and a plastic model skull complete with brain! You would think that this would cost a fortune, but including the books, this came to just under £20.00!!
Now I would pay £20.00 any day just to get some peace and quiet during half term, so this wasn't a problem for me. I haven't seen my kids since then, they have been in their bedroom playing with it all.
They have also asked me if we can go back to buy some Easter supplies. They sell plain polystirine eggs that you can decorate yourself and other
I am really pleased with this shop. My only negative is that it is always cramped and a bit messy sometimes. I have knocked books off the shelves with my bag loads of times. I have also ended picking up crafts off the floor, after the kids have picked one up and knocked the rest off like dominoes.
But with prices like this, I will put up with cramped aisles and knocking stuff off. This shop has saved me a fortune in books. I have attended College and used this shop for my resources and it has never failed me and it has always come out on tops for the kids at half terms.
All round top quality, friendly staff, great prices and good choice.
The Works is a discount 'book' store in fact the website states that it is 'Britain's leading discount bookstore', though they do sell other bits too. I think of it more as a cheaper, less organised Whsmiths really.
The one in my shopping centre is tiny. It was once one of my favourite places to get stationary or little cheap-ish gifts for people, it was definitely the first place I headed every time I shopped there in the run up to Christmas as you could always guarantee to find an usual book that no one else had...for low low prices.
When you walk in there is a large section for children's books, it actually takes up one wall of the first half of the shop. For a while now they have been offering 4 books for £5 which is great if you have a lot of kids to buy for in the family etc. then comes cook books, mum to be books, healthy eating, quitting smoking, gardening, cars, trains, sports, music, ghosts, self help etc and THEN comes the arty section with books about hobbies and crafting.
Towards the back of the shop are paints, stick on eyes, coloured paper and card, glitter glue etc and pretty much everything you would need to have a fun and cheap crafting day with your daughter or grandchild or...anyone really.
Now working your way back to the front there are diaries, notepads, scrapbooks, followed by more stationary and then more books. This time there are old fashioned romance books and fiction books along with a few -quite random- DVD box sets. I found a box set about planets for £4 last week. My other half is really interested in things like that -I'm not lol- but its done perfectly for a cheap valentines present..or part of it. I also found children's DVDs for 99p which will do well for my step sons' birthday next month.
Between these shelves and shelves of books are stands with more books on or cards, canvases, storage boxes...anything really. I found a set of 3 art deco photo frames for £1.50.
This whole shop is absolutely bursting with things. There is something for everyone and really low prices. This is usually where I buy my canvases from as you can get a pack of 4 a4 for £1.99! Bargain!
The staff in here are always quite friendly, to be honest I've never had to ask for any help in there so I wouldn't know if they were any help or not. There is a major downside to this shop though...and judging by other reviews it's not just the one in my home town. They are so cluttered! I have a 3 wheeler buggy which I call the tank because it's not the most slim line buggy in the world but in here it is impossible. I usually have to time it so that it's a weekday and won't be busy otherwise I literally get stuck in there. The shop itself is quite narrow but when you add to that tables in the middle, extra stock on the floor, a buggy and other people it's just not going to work. I've got so frustrated that I don't take my son there anymore. Close to Christmas my friend and I wanted to go in there -both with buggies- but worked out pretty quickly that we had to take it in turns to either go in or watch the buggies!
Overall I do actually love this store; I can almost guarantee that I will come out with SOMETHING every time I go in there. The prices are great and they seem to change stock quite quickly so you know there will be new things every time you go in. what I would say about that is that if you see something you want...GET IT! Because there is no guarantee that it will be there next time.
Curl up with a book or two and a hot cup of cocoa on your sofa and forget about the cold weather.