Former Wilko shops witness amazing sales after reopening says Poundland boss

Former Wilko shops witness ‘amazing’ sales after reopening, says Poundland boss

The boss of Poundland has hailed “amazing” trade across its former Wilko stores after reopening dozens of stores snapped up from the collapsed rival.

Poundland has opened 64 shops under its branding since agreeing a deal to buy up to 71 former Wilko shops from administrators in September.

The high street discount chain has also hired more than 1,000 former Wilko workers.

It came after Wilko, which had operated 400 shops and employed 12,00 workers, collapsed into insolvency in the face of growing debts and weak consumer demand.

Austin Cooke, managing director of the Poundland, said the collapse of its rival does not mean the high street is in turmoil but admitted the backdrop is still challenging for retailers.

“There is still plenty of positivity on the high street,” he said.

“Every time we have opened a new store we see that – people are really chuffed we are opening up in their towns.

“You can’t deny times are tricky for many and the cost-of-living situation is having an impact, but it just gives us more and more reason to give outstanding value.”

He said the company has already refurbished and installed freezers and other food aisles in some of the reopened Wilko shops.

Mr Cooke added: “The response in those Wilko shops from customers and workers has been amazing.

“We saw an opportunity there to accelerate our openings are really happy with how it has gone.”

The retailer, which founded in Burton-upon-Trent in 1990, has since grown to a network more than 800 shops across the UK.

Poundland said it has also opened 23 other stores separate to the acquired Wilko units over the past 70 days as part of its continued acquisition process.

Mr Cooke said the discount chain will continue to open stores across the UK and is still witnessing “opportunities” in the retail property market.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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