Wilkinson ups its targets for store openings

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High street discounter Wilkinson has opened its 350th store and plans to open another 18 this year.

The planned 21 openings mark an escalation in Wilkinson's growth plans last year it opened 13 new stores and in 2009 it increased its estate by five.

"Our store opening programme is well in line with the target announced in our latest annual review and we are delighted that more communities across the UK are discovering the value and quality of Wilko," said a spokesman.

Trevor Wood Associates, which this month published a report on shopping centres and retail parks, found Wilkinson was one of the fastest-growing retailers. "They and other variety stores should do well in the next few years as they fill the void left by Woolworths," said Wood.

Customers were welcomed into Wilkinson's 350th store, in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, with a raffle, face painting and balloon modellers. An opening in Falkirk in July will mark the 10th Scottish store since the chain began to push north of the border two years ago.

Last year, Wilkinson, which tops The Grocer's Top 50 ranking of independent grocery retailers, launched its first own-label food range of crisps, confectionery and biscuits under the Wilko brand.

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