|Founded||1930; 88 years ago|
|Headquarters||Worksop, England, UK|
Number of locations
Lisa Wilkinson, Director|
Sean Toal, Chief Operating Officer
|Products||Basic groceries, toiletries, consumer goods, DIY, stationery, pet supplies|
|Revenue||£1,501 million (2014)|
|£67 million (2014)|
|Owner||Tony Wilkinson and Lisa Wilkinson (100%)|
Wilko Retail Ltd. (formerly Wilkinson Hardware Stores) is a British high-street chain which sells homewares and household goods.
Founded in 1930 as Wilkinson Cash Stores by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester, the company has remained in the hands of the founding family. When Tony Wilkinson, the son of the founder, retired as chairman after 45 years in June 2005, he was replaced by his niece, Karin Swann, and his daughter, Lisa Wilkinson. In 2014, Karin Swann sold her family's 50% holding in the business to Lisa Wilkinson.
The Wilko product range concentrates on household essentials, including homewares, textiles, DIY, cleaning products, health and beauty lines, stationery, confectionery, pet products and kitchen and bathroom goods. A large proportion of the range is made up of own-label products sold under the Wilko brand, but like other retailers, Wilko has started to use private label brands. Wilko sells seasonal lines such as gardening products in the summer, as well as Christmas decorations and an expanded toys and games range from September to January.
The first Wilkinson store was opened in Leicester in 1930, increasing to a total of nine branches by 1940; the Beaconsfield store can be seen in the background in the film Brief Encounter (1945). By the end of the 1980s, the Wilkinson chain had a total of 78 stores, increasing to over 150 by the time of the founder's death, in 1997.
Wilkinson opened its Scottish outlet in Castle Douglas on 23 January 2009, in a store formerly occupied by The Co-operative Group. Stores were subsequently opened in Scotland that same year in Motherwell on 14 July, in Irvine in November and in Clydebank on 2 December. In 2010, the stores planned for Scotland to open were Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Greenock and Livingston.
Wilkinson has a trend of taking over redundant former stores rather than building new ones, particularly in the West Midlands; examples have included the former Kwik Save store in Great Bridge (May 2008), the former Safeway store in Halesowen (November 2006) and the former Marks & Spencer store in Dudley (July 1991). The opening of a store in Dudley was an example of a trend of the retailer to take over large units in town centres left vacant by the relocation of big retail names to out of town locations, as Marks & Spencer had closed its Dudley store in 1990, in favour of a new store at the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre.
The Dudley store was so successful that a £250,000 expansion to the upper level of the building (initially, only the ground floor was used) was completed three years after its opening. By then, Wilkinson was one of Britain's fastest growing retailers.
In August 2017, Wilko began negotiations with GMB over their plan to remove over 4,000 positions. This was contrasted unfavourably with reports that Lisa Wilkinson had just received a £3m dividend.
The Wilko National Distribution Centre is situated on the outskirts of Worksop in Nottinghamshire in close proximity to the A1. The company awarded a five-year logistics contract to Wincanton plc in March 2017.
Advertising is concentrated in the press, such as inserts included with local newspapers. Advertising emphasises value for money, with in-store promotion encouraging customers to purchase more than one item when they visit the store.
A revamped version of the brand was unveiled in December 2008. Designed by Jupiter Creative, the brand was showcased in new format stores in Thornaby, Northallerton, (which replaced a former Woolworths store), Sheffield, Leicester, Newton Aycliffe and Walton-on-Thames as well as the Castle Douglas, Motherwell and Clydebank stores in Scotland.
Turnover for the year ending February 2013 was in excess of £1.5 billion.
|Year ending||Turnover (£m)||Trading profit (£m)||Operating profit (£m)|
|1 February 2013||1,530||27.6||25.3|
|2 February 2012||1,565||23.0||19.3|
|28 January 2011||1,559||57.7||60.8|
|29 January 2010||1,556||65.4||62.9|
|31 January 2009||1,449||32.2||31.6|
|1 February 2008||1,364||88||50.3|
|2 February 2007||1,246||85||48.4|
|27 January 2006||1,135||25.7|
|1 January 2005||1,116||54.3|
|1 January 2004||1,045||56.5|
|31 January 2003||922||44.7|
|2 February 2002||817||36.6|
- Holmes, David (29 February 2016). "Wilko opens bigger Chester store on March 3". The Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Brooks, Beth. "Co-operative Group food COO Sean Toal to join Wilkinson". The Grocer. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- Wilkinson Annual Report 2012
- Ruddick, Graham (2 August 2014). "Wilkinson family split after 84 years in retail". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Ruddick, Graham (7 July 2015). "Wilkinson family net £63m by selling stake in retail empire". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- "Rich List 2013: No.=16 - Tony Wilkinson (£480m)". Birmingham Post. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
- Wilkinson to open first store in Scotland | News | Retail Week
- Hundreds seek Wilkinson jobs « Express & Star
- New Wilko's brings 60 jobs « Express & Star
- Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd
- "Wilko — Annual Review 2012" (PDF). Wilko Corporate. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Holland, Tiffany (22 April 2014). "Wilkinson rebrands store estate to 'Wilko' matching new strapline". Retail Week. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Lanyon, Daniel (16 March 2013). "Wilkinson rebrand to 'Wilko' gathers pace". The Grocer. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Ahmed, Murad (11 August 2017). "Wilko looks at cutting more than 4,000 jobs". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
- "Wincanton wins five-year contract with wilko". Post and Parcel. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "The home of family value: a new-look brand unveiled for Wilkinson". Jupiter Creative. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- Wilkinson Annual Report 2011
- Wilkinson Annual Report 2010
- "Wilkinson Retail Analysis 2009". IGD. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "Wilkinson reports robust sales growth". IGD Retail Analysis. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
- "Wilkinson reveals strong profit growth". IGD. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "FastTrack 100 - 2007". Retrieved 21 October 2014.
- FastTrack 100 - 2006
- FastTrack 100 - 2005
- FastTrack 100 - 2004
- FastTrack 100 - 2003
- FastTrack 100 - 2002