Wilko - not good news

Wilko homeware chain on brink of collapse Wilko homeware chain on brink of collapse - BBC News

I went in last weekend at the start of a DIY mission.

Half the stuff I wanted was out of stock, and everything I got seemed really expensive - £15 for 750ml of undercoat, £7.50 for 50m of gaffer tape, £4 for 3 basic paint brushes, own brand Wilko stuff… all felt like about double the price I might have guessed but I thought maybe that was just a perception thing.

Went back to the car to start a Toolstation order for the bits I couldn’t get - and then found all the stuff I had bought from Wilko was in fact significantly cheaper there - £10 for a ‘Leyland’ branded undercoat (not the best make but still, a known name), £4 for 50m of no name gaffer tape, 75p each for cheap paintbrushes.

I took all the Wilko stuff back… and when I did the poor lady gave me a slip begging for feedback… geez is mine the feedback you really want?!

Such a shame. Could once shop there, get everything you needed and be confident of having paid a good price - but as my visit proved its days as a useful one stop shop are long gone.


I still feel like a lot of it was a decent price. When I moved into my university studio I went and bought some dishes/cups from there. Seemed to do the job and was priced in a manner I called okay

Their lint rollers were about the same as the Poundland across the street too iirc

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It’s a strange shop like a cross between Homebase and Superdrug.
Never particularly cheap nor specialised enough to survive.

Shame for the staff however.

I agree, it’s a huge worry for the staff. Problem is however, Wilko will have struggled to compete with the likes of B&M Bargains and Home Bargains, both of which carry a similar array of consumer items. In recent years, I’ve had little reason to visit Wilko mostly because of their store positioning where there’s no nearby parking.

Most of their stores, other than city/major town centres, have free parking in my experience.

In Greater Nottingham there are a dozen or so stores, the only one with no substantial free parking is the remaining City Centre one. Similar story in Sheffield.

Point to note, I live closer to France than I do to either Nottingham or Sheffield and unless I can park outside the store, then it’s crap parking in my book because I’m a lazy git bag :joy:

Unfortunate story from Bulwell in Notts that a particular store in the photo background just happens to be…

BBC News - Bulwell fire: Arson suspected after caravan fire spreads to derelict building

That puts you in a minority amongst Wilko customers, potential and actual.

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Can confirm when I go to Wilko I normally walk there and back

Whilst it’s commendable that there are those of you who are able to walk to your nearest Wilko, however I’m sure that for at least more than two of you, many need to get either public transport or use a personal vehicle to get near to a Wilko store in the first instance.

I live almost six miles away from my nearest store which is located in the town centre of my very busy seaside town. I’m one of those who absolutely cannot stand traipsing around a town centre full of estate agents and charity shops, I much prefer out of town retail parks. The following story does give an idea about Wilko’s positioning issues in town centres:

What has gone wrong at Wilko? What has gone wrong at Wilko? - BBC News

Yes, read it this morning. So predictable a story - an old-school retailer in real decline.

Indeed, and I’m personally gutted that there’s been such a massive decline in retail in town centres compared to what they were like 40 years ago. I was sad when we lost Woolworths, C&A, Timothy Whites and more recently, Debenhams. Town centre business rates don’t help either and local Councils charge stupid amounts for parking. It’s little wonder town centres are dying.

We’ve lost so much, but this has in large part evolved because of technology. My Wife and I buy a huge amount of our consumer goods online and that includes stuff like dishwasher cleaning pods, laundry liquid etc. Wilko sadly cannot compete with the likes of Amazon on stuff.


We should probably start lobbying our councils for free parking. Can’t see them making much money off it and they’re probably paying a company to administer the scheme anyways

Need to inject some blood into retail before only luxury boutiques exist in big cities and everywhere else only has takeaways / restaurants

Lazy, London/SE-centric reporting as usual. “experts”

Almost all of their new store openings (not stores moving) in the last 15 years have been in retail parks or out of town centres in their heartlands.

Also B&M haven’t ‘moved’ to retail parks, they have opened stores on both high streets and retail parks throughout their existence.

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Interestingly C&A are still pretty active in Germany where the parking is pretty cheap. Woolworths are still on the go in Australia, albeit a modern version.

Sadly our councils are short on cash so being told to increase income i.e. parking charges are more likely to go up as are fines etc. Yes, that could well kill the city centre, but they need the cash.

They will lose money if they kill city/town centres. The way to long-term generate money is to make the location more valuable and your money into it via that way. Then businesses will pay higher property taxes when we abolish business rates.

From a retail perspective, I think many small town centres are doomed. Bank branches mostly gone, some stores moved out to retail parks etc.

Some of the local Council run car parks do give free parking, after 6pm when all the shops have shut :person_shrugging: Personally I avoid all fee paying car parks as much as possible, hence why I generally albeit infrequently, only use out of town retail parks that don’t levy charges. As I stated earlier, I have no desire to traipse around shops jostling with the masses when I can buy the goods I need cheaper online.

The last C&A I shopped in, was in Amsterdam. I actually really enjoyed the nostalgia of it and I bought myself some clothes.

Woolworths is also a retail name in South Africa but has no connection AFAIK to the former retail group here. Their stores are generally very nice.

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Eh, stores are a different experience. For some goods I buy online, for some I want to buy in-store (clothing namely, but I cede that sometimes online is a necessity). Some stores you shop in person and have it delivered for the experience (like Apple now do this in some markets)

Retail isn’t a one size fits all scenario. Like for glasses, I want to try the frames on in-person; doesn’t matter if they’re Cartier or Specsavers own

At 55, I’ve got past giving a toss what I look like :laughing: I’ve only the Wife to impress and she’s generally unimpressed with the way I look, so it’s a win win :rofl:

Upshot is, I don’t like mingling with people :+1:

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They were even taken off Airtime Rewards last month