Thursday, January 11, 2024

News: Is wilko returning to Rotherham?


Having crashed into administration last year and closed all of its stores, including two in Rotherham, could the discount retailer's new owners be reopening a wilko store in the borough?

The British high-street retail chain was founded in 1930 sells homeware and household goods. The group, with headquarters in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, had 400 stores across the UK and approximately 12,500 employees.

Administrators were called in after it was hit by incredibly challenging trading conditions, both throughout the pandemic and more recently as it has felt the impact of the cost of living crisis, resulting in increasing cashflow pressure and a deterioration in trading.

A deal to save hundreds of stores fell through and instead, B&M was reported to be acquiring 51 former wilko store premises and Poundland owner Pepco is taking on the leases of up to 71 stores.

The Range agreed a deal to buy the Wilko brand, website and intellectual property.

Now bosses at The Range have begun a revival of the wilko name with the reopening of stores, and recruitment has begun for a wilko store in Rotherham.

Posted online by The Range, but marked "wilko", the firm is recruiting for a number of roles, including store manager, assistant manager, retail assistants, warehouse and cleaning roles. The company says that it is planning to recruit up to 80 local team members per store.

The Range currently has a Rotherham store in Parkgate. wilko stores that closed last year were based at Cortonwood and Parkgate.

As reported by Rothbiz, Rotherham Council acquired the building at 4 Corporation Street in January 2023 to prevent it from becoming a long-term empty building, after wilkos closed the store. It has since been demolished.

Alex Simpkin, CEO of CDS Superstores, trading as The Range and wilko, 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 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.

“We’ll endeavour to give ex-wilko employees priority as a part of the recruitment process for the new stores.”

Under new owners, wilko recently opened its first three stores in Plymouth, Luton and Exeter.

Simpkin 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.”

wilko website

Images: wilko / Facebook


Rothguy January 11, 2024 at 12:56 PM  

Wilko in the town center was one time Rotherham was ahead of the game. They had closed and demolished the building before wilko went under.

Seriously though hope this will create jobs.

Anonymous,  January 11, 2024 at 10:00 PM  

Idea opportunity to reopen in the unit/units opposite the old town hall,where Argos was.
That would keep the naysayers quiet.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2024 at 3:38 PM  

Doubt anything could keep them quiet.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2024 at 10:41 PM  

It’d make a change from using the buildings as cannabis farms like they do now.

Anonymous,  January 15, 2024 at 10:24 AM  

Well I quite like the smell as you walk past.

Anonymous,  January 16, 2024 at 10:44 AM  

It's going to be in the same unit at Parkgate that it was before.

Anonymous,  January 16, 2024 at 11:53 PM  

What is, the cannabis farm?

Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 12:25 PM  

No, that's back at the Coffee Lounge

Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 4:23 PM  

Oh, sorry, I thought they'd moved across the road to the old Green woods site.

Jez January 18, 2024 at 7:25 AM  

Wherever it is located I can't see it being a success unless there is a dramatic change in product range. They never moved with the times and shoppers voted with their feet.

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 8:51 AM  

Always look on the bright side of life...

Anonymous,  January 22, 2024 at 5:35 AM  

Jez knows best, you should be an MP

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