2 (2) Wilko


Sales: £1,444.6m (-1.2%)

Pre-tax profits: £5.5m (-80%)

Stores: 384 (+2%)

Investing in new stores and refreshing the strategy plan has cut a significant chunk out of Wilko’s profits. “All retailers have been trading in a tough economic climate over the past few years,” says COO Sean Toal. “We felt it was important to invest in our business throughout 2015 for the long-term health of Wilko.”

Going over and above its 380-store target, every product on the shop floor has been under review as the near 90-year-old business cuts the flab to streamline its operation for modern customers. Wilko says reconfiguring its website last year made it sharper, easier to use and is another step into pulling Wilko out of the 1930s and into the eyeline of today’s consumer.

The senior team has also been shaken up in a raft of changes, taking on new CFO Aiden Connolly in place of Ian Ellis, who parted ways to join the Co-op. Within a month, the board also appointed ex-Co-op Group COO Toal as the new COO in a seemingly coincidental director swap. In between, Wilko posted a second successive decline in sales. Together with the growth of rival TJ Morris it’s therefore been overtaken.