At the start of September, there was breaking news which shocked the British people. Wilkinson’s, a much loved and popular retail store, had confirmed that they were closing all four hundred of their stores across England by the end of October. The plan was that the stores would be reopened as other brand stores. Pepco Group, which own Poundland, has already bought 71 Wilko stores and converted them into the Poundland chain. Many Brits were shocked to hear this sudden and unexpected news, taking to social media to express their feelings. #Wilkoclosing trended on TikTok for around a month, and there were over 3.3 million views on videos about the store.

Wilkinsons has been around for 90 years and started off as a single hardware store in Leicester. Over time, it began to expand and became well-established in the 2000s. Therefore, the abrupt closing of the store has proven to be upsetting for some. For instance, a few customers in Romford, Essex had voiced their opinions on the situation. Ainsley aged 17 stated “Wilko’s is one of the only affordable, accessible, and good quality stores round here. For students with a limited budget, Wilko was such a go-to, it had everything. It is quite unfortunate to see it go.” Di, 46 also shared her viewpoint. “It is really shocking that Wilkos everywhere are going to be shut soon. Theres no point reopening it as a Poundland- there is already three in the area!”

Wilkinsons was notorious for its low-priced items, bargains on homeware and its easy accessibility. It had a wide variety of products from stationary to tuppereware to household essentials. People started to wonder why Wilko shutting down, especially after all these years. Many could not comprehend how a store which had been around for close to a millennium was now going to go out of existence within a month or two. Going out shopping and seeing large closing sings on the shop was not something anybody expected. The reason the shop fell so suddenly was due to financial struggles. Wilko fell into administration around August time, due to having issues with losses and competitions with rival stores such as The Range and Poundland. There was an attempt to revive the store, as the firm borrowed forty million pounds in early January to ensure stability, but this did not solve the problem, as some said the chain failed in adapting the ‘competitive landscape.’ Unfortunately, 12,5000 Wilkinson’s employees lost their jobs and worry struck them as they had to find a new job immediately. However, other retailers such as Dunelm, Tesco and Home bargains have stated that Ex-Wilko staff have priority and can apply for a job there instead.

Overall, the news has been a shock to all, and not what anyone would have predicted to happen this year! Luckily, the stores will be reopened as other brands, as stated before, meaning shopping centres in England will some new stores.