Wilkinson has launched a new ‘Wilko’ format to act as a test store for a range of innovations it hopes to introduce.
Features launched this week at its new store in Crawley, West Sussex, will be monitored for customer feedback over the next few months before being adopted into future stores, or introduced during refurbishments.
Features include new visual merchandising and a ‘super-categories’ concept that cross merchandises products according to a shopper’s needs. Washing powder can be found alongside ironing boards and clothes dryers, for instance, while a student zone offers everything for school or college.
An out-of-hours collection point also allows online customers to collect orders outside normal opening hours.
The store opening coincided with the release of the discounter’s full-year results, which revealed a 63% drop in pre-tax profits from £60.8m to just £22.7m in the year to 31 January.
Sales were static at £1.57bn, but there was a “small decline” in like-for-like sales due to fewer customer visits.
However, Wilkinson said customer spend per visit had increased during the year.