The wonder of Wilko

In what appears to be an increasingly grey and mundane landscape the occasional ray of sunshine is more than welcome.  My personal shining star right now is the retailer Wilkinson who seem to have suddenly awoken to become everything that Woolworth failed to be.  They are even doing it in the very shop units in which Woolies crashed and burned.

It’s hard to fault the new look Wilko.  Great new logo that manages to be both contemporary and friendly in equal measure, stores that despite their stack-it-high-sell-it-cheap approach to merchandising still appear orderly and inviting and whether it’s just my local branch or common throughout the chain, the staff are friendlier, and more helpful than those in many premium stores.

Their array of categories offer the diversity that Woolworth failed to cope with and rationalised away long before their eventual demise.  Wilko’s homewares sit better in the store than those of Matalan or TK Max and partner with decorating products more comfortably that Homebase.

Wilkinson, remarkably, was top of mind for me when buying a few stationery items today, even though in Newbury High Street, WH Smith are directly opposite (But I always think of Smiths as a venue for a wrist-slashing anyway!).  I bought de-icer from there a few weeks ago in preference to Halfords, and a few homewares items that I could have picked up from Tesco, had I been so inclined.  Admittedly there is a chasm between the old Wilko stores and the new smart format, but with a roll-out planned I’m sure it won’t be long before everyone will be able to experience the wonder of Wilko!  Even their web experience is good.  Frankly, I can’t see how they would fail.


5 responses to “The wonder of Wilko

  1. You should pop in and check out refurbished WHS store on Newbury High Street. Spoke to girl working there, and she said these are LED Tubes, in their WH Smith Store. I can now see :))) This New LED lighting is just amazing, I couldn’t believe how clean it is. Don’t know who supplied them but you have no glare and no spot compare to most of LED on market, and apparently they are very energy efficient. Maybe WHS to meet their carbon targets will stop switching lights out to save energy. You are absolutely right most of WHS is very dull, and you couldn’t see what you buy. Glad is changing!

  2. Kate Thanks for your input the Led tubes you refer to were installed by my company Armadillo Led with our products WHS reduced their energy bill by 65% and Carbon Emissions by the same %.
    Perhaps we should do the same for Wilko?

    Andy Saunders

  3. They are brilliant lights makes the store look lovely and you can see everyting really well

  4. Hi Kate,

    Thank You for your feedback.

    LED Lighting has been manufactured by armadilloLED based in Essex.

    ArmadilloLED – Evolution In Lighting

    WH Smith PLC in their Corporate Responsibility report 2011 says …

    “…Lighting uses more than half of the energy of a trading store
    and, during the year, we have been trialling improvements to
    our lighting equipment in High Street. We conducted a trial of
    new LED lighting at our Newbury store and saw significant
    reductions in energy usage, with no impact to the levels of light
    within the store. The outgoing lights were recycled, and the new
    ones will last around ten years, reducing the environmental
    impact of disposing with old tubes. Based on our learnings
    from the Newbury trial, we plan to roll out similar lighting
    upgrades to other High Street stores during 2011/12 and would
    hope to accelerate our energy savings programme as a result….”

    more of the story here…—LED-Lighting-Trial—Newbury—High-Street_39.htm

  5. The were supplied by a company called

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