Five Wilko shops are set to reopen before Christmas after CDS Superstores took over the homeware chain which closed all its 408 units after going bust.
But this has not meant an end to Wilko, and CDS Superstores has stated the two first locations where the former homeware giant will reopen.
These will be in Exeter and Plymouth but CDS, which also owns The Range, has said there will be a further two stores in south east England and a final one in the north of the country.
Why did Wilko close its stores?
Nearly all of the 12,500 jobs at Wilko were lost after the chain collapsed and take-over bids failed. All the 408 shops shut last month.
The company went bust having lost money over several years. It has been speculated that shoppers had begun to look to out-of-town retail sites rather than high streets for the type of homeware that Wilko offers. In addition, Wilko’s website had been criticised for not being joined up with the physical shops, and for having too many stores.
In the aftermath of the collapse, The Range acquired Wilko's intellectual property and website, while B&M bought 51 of the shops.
It was announced this week that Wilko products will be sold in The Range, while five shops would be opening in 2023. This could pave the way for more openings in 2024, including in Northern Ireland, which would be the first time Wilko has had a presence there.
Chief executive of CDS Superstores, trading as The Range and Wilko, Alex Simpkin 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.”
He added: “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.”
Which stores are reopening?
Ahead of a national roll-out across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, five stand-alone concept stores will open before Christmas 2023.
Wilko has said the first two locations will be Plymouth and Exeter closely followed by two locations in the south east of England and one in the north “to be announced imminently”.