Poundland to reopen five regional Wilko stores
Five former Wilko stores in the North West are to re-open this weekend under ownership from Poundland.
The move follows an agreement secured by owners Pepco with administrator PwC to take an option on a number of Wilko store leases, Poundland today confirmed Wilko stores in 10 locations would “begin their journey to becoming a Poundland” this Saturday, 30 September.
The following North West Wilko stores will open on Saturday morning: Pendle Rise Shopping Centre, Nelson; The Peel Centre, Stockport; Church Street, Eccles; London Street, Southport; and Lord Street, Leigh.
A further five sites in Stafford, Barking, Maidenhead, Jarrow and Scunthorpe will also re-open under new ownership this weekend.
The stores will sell a range of Poundland items as well as clearance items from Wilko.
The closure of the Wilko stores was a bitter blow to many town centres already blighted by crime, empty units, charity shops and vaping outlets bringing down the confidence of a place.
Acknowledging this, Poundland retail director Darren Kay said: “We’re pleased to be able to re-open so quickly – not least because our ambition is to provide job opportunities for former Wilko colleagues.
“Of course, we’re not yet in a position to offer our fullest ranges in these stores, but we know customers will appreciate a shop that’s open, trading and employing colleagues to one that’s got its shutters closed.
“We’d encourage customers old and new to come and say hello to their new Poundland team from this coming Saturday in each of these locations.
“We’re already recruiting a number of former Wilko colleagues to help us open these stores. We’re prioritising them for these roles and we’re still encouraging applications for these or other locations.”
Poundland intends to carry out a full makeover of these stores in 2024 so they can become fully operational Poundland stores.
While the location of the Stockport and Southport stores are in close proximity to existing Poundland stores – Eccles and Nelson, don’t have a Poundland. The move doesn’t affect plans to move to a new larger location on Merseyway in Stockport as the formats are different, a spokesman explained.
The store in Leigh has created an opportunity for for example – but Poundland is re-locating to the much larger Wilko unit, with former Wilko colleagues joining Poundland.
In Southport Poundland closed the doors at its Eastbank Street store in March 2023 after the lease expired and the company was unable to agree new terms with the landlord. The new store is the other side of Southport train station in the centre. Poundland also has a store in Southport store at Central 12 Retail Park.
Poundland is part of Pepco Group which has over 4,300 stores in 21 territories including the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Spain and across the CEE region, employing 43,000 people.