personal finance

Wilko returns to high street as beloved discount retailer opens new stores today

Wilko stores are set to return to the high street today as two new branches have been opened.

The Range’s parent company, which also snapped up Wilko’s website and intellectual property (IP) following the discount chain’s administration, said it will open five shops before Christmas.

CDS Superstores will welcome customers to new shops in Plymouth and Exeter today.

Three more stores will open before Christmas, including one in Luton on December 8.

The exact locations and dates of the other new shops are yet to be confirmed – but CDS Superstores has teased how potentially 300 more shops could follow in 2024, including in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The opening of today’s stores comes just weeks after Wilko shut the final stores from the collapse of its 400-strong estate across the UK.

The Wilko collapse led to the redundancy of almost all its 12,500 workers, right before christmas. Many of whom who have spoken about their team at the company “like family”.

Wilko recently posted on its Facebook page and confirmed its fan favourite pick and mix sweets will be making a return.

A post read: “You didn’t think we’d re-open without Pick & Mix, did you? We’re cola bottle fans, personally…”

As well as opening new stores, The Range now sells Wilko branded goods, including home, garden, pet and lifestyle products, across its stores. It has also reopened the Wilko website.

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were forced to sell Wilko’s assets in order to help pay off its outstanding debts after failing to secure a rescue deal for the entirety of the 93-year-old retail chain.

The Range’s owner bought the Wilko brand, website and IP in a £5million deal last month.

Poundland has agreed to take on the leases of up to 71 Wilko shops, while B&M announced it will buy up to 51 Wilko stores.

CDS said it plans to roll out more Wilko stores in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2024.

Alex Simpkin, chief executive of CDS Superstores, said: “The public reaction to the loss of Wilko stores was undeniable.

“It’s clear that there’s a huge love for Wilko and we’ve seen an encouraging demand for the return of its own-brand products.

“That’s why we’ve taken the decision to reintroduce Wilko back to many of the high streets and communities that it used to so proudly serve.”


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