It might not be the biggest rebrand since Twitter became X, the rapper Kanye West became Ye, and the country best known as Turkey chose to be called Turkiye.

But York, at least, has a new name on its high street.

A much-loved face of retail since it was founded by Henry Walton Smith in 1792, WHSmith has decided to change the name of ten of its 525 high stores as part of a rebranding exercise.

Coney Street in York is the only store in Yorkshire changing its name to WHS, leaving its other branches at York Station, Harrogate, Leeds, Malton, Wetherby and elsewhere, as they are.

Nationally, the move has attracted a backlash, with critics likening the new logo as akin to the NHS, suggesting the retailer’s marketeers may not have made the healthiest of moves.

In York, when the Press dropped by to see what shoppers thought, many had not even noticed the slight change to the signage.

Christopher Robinson, 79, from Pickering, comes to York once a month and usually calls at the Post Office at the rear of the store.

He said of the rebrand: “I never took any notice of it. I suppose it’s okay. I suppose the design is simpler. It’s hard to tell.”

Karen Webb from Hertfordshire said: “I have always known it as WHSmith. I’m not convinced by the change. Everything is abbreviated nowadays.”

But when she first saw the initials, Karen recalled she still knew the store was WHSmith by use of the same colours.

“Everything is changing too much now,” she added.

A couple from Middlesborough said of the new signage: “It doesn’t look too bad. It looks all right.”

Another passer-by seemed nonplussed by the fuss.

“It doesn’t bother us,” he said.

‘Rita’ said the new branding “looks horrible” before dashing off.

Joyce Dobson of York, however, said: “It looks fine. It’s simplicity. The colour is fine.”

Two teenage girls on leaving the store said the new design was okay, but they preferred the old name.

“It’s very bland,” they both agreed.

Another shopper added: “I have no opinion to be honest.”

A look inside saw the store as it was, with many items on sale.

I asked a young staffer by the self-service checkouts if customers had commented on the rebrand.

“Not that I have heard of,” she replied.

A WHSmith spokesperson told the Press: “With some customers telling us they aren’t always aware of the wide range of high quality, great value products we stock in our high street stores, we are testing new signage at a small number of locations, to localise our offer and highlight the key product categories customers can always find at WHSmith. This is a trial and only in 10 locations. There is no plan to roll this out to the rest of the estate.”