The first two new Wilko stores will open in Plymouth and Exeter in Devon, followed by two more sites in the South East and another in the North of England
Wilko is to return to the UK high street – with five stores set to open before Christmas.
The first two stores will open in Plymouth and Exeter in Devon, followed by two more sites in the South East and another in the North of England. No exact opening dates have been announced yet.
The news was confirmed today by CDS Superstores, which trades as The Range. It comes after Wilko collapsed into administration in August this year, with more than 400 stores closed as a result.
The Wilko name and intellectual property was later bought by The Range for a reported £5million, with its website having already been relaunched. CDS Superstores confirmed further stores will open throughout 2024, including in Northern Ireland for the first time.
The company said “priority” for job roles at new stores will go to ex-Wilko employees. Before its collapse, Wilko employed around 12,500 workers. The Range has also separately confirmed that it will start selling Wilko branded goods, including home, garden, pet and lifestyle products, across its 210 stores from today.
Wilko assets were sold off after administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers were unable to find a buyer for the entire business. 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.
Alex Simpkin, CEO of CDS Superstores, said: “For the majority of its 93 years, Wilko was an incredibly successful business that gave its customers exactly what they needed to get their home and garden jobs sorted. It was their advanced own-brand capabilities that encouraged us to invest in the brand and wilko.com and we’re excited to now be selling Wilko products online once more and across our 200 stores network.
‘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.
“Our team from Wilko that joined us through the acquisition has shown true resilience, they’ve set to work to integrate the best parts of Wilko into The Range’s operational systems. We’re expanding that team every day with new Wilko hires and can’t wait to extend that back out to local communities.”
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