Wilko poised for robust resurgence across the UK under new leadership

Beloved British retailer Wilko appears ready for a major resurgence following its acquisition by discount chain The Range. After abruptly collapsing last year, Wilko faced uncertainty when it entered administration in 2023, resulting in over 400 store closures. However, The Range swiftly bought the brand, website and intellectual property for £5 million, allowing it to sell Wilko products in-store and online, keeping the household name alive. Now under new ownership, optimistic plans are taking shape for Wilko’s future. 

CDS Superstores, operating as Wilko and The Range, has reopened three Wilko stores in Plymouth, Exeter and Luton. Two additional stores will welcome customers in Rotherham and St Albans on 29th March 2024, followed by another new shop launching in Poole’s Dolphin Centre later this year. Moreover, The Range’s owner Chris Dawson has announced intentions to reopen 300 Wilko locations, with 50 currently in varying stages of legislative progress.

With administrators unable to find a buyer for all of Wilko in 2023, store leases and assets had to be sold off in parts. Poundland agreed to take on leases for up to 71 stores, while B&M agreed to acquire 51 Wilko shops.

CDS Superstores CEO Alex Simpkin said: “It’s clear that there’s a huge love for Wilko and we’re proud to re-introduce the brand to high streets. We’re also glad to be bringing employment opportunities to these towns and for helping local families and communities have easy access to all the everyday home and garden items they need once again.”

He added: “This initial rollout is only the beginning for our plans for revitalising the Wilko brand on the nation’s high streets and retail parks, and we’ll be announcing further store launches and re-openings throughout 2024.”

Devoted customers have voiced excitement at Wilko’s high street comeback after months away. By rehiring former employees, stores aim to recreate the retailer’s signature friendly and affordable service – pillars of its 89-year heritage. Regional leaders familiar with local areas are also returning as operations resume. 

While nearly 250 stores remain, early momentum and capital suggest a promising outlook. Occupying an essential niche in many towns, communities have eagerly welcomed returning Wilko outlets. With seasoned leadership focused squarely on future expansion, Wilko seems well-positioned to reclaim its stature as a cherished UK retailer.

Bluestones One are delighted to see the exciting plans for future store openings and are proud to be supplying Merchandising teams to one of the well-known brands stocked in the new stores. If you require any Installation or Merchandising support as a retailer or a brand, please feel free to get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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