The first three towns to get a new Wilko store have been named as Plymouth, Exeter and Luton.
The first two will open on 1 December, in Plymouth’s Armada Centre and Exeter’s Guildhall Shopping Centre.
The third will open its doors a week later, on 8 December, in Luton’s Arndale Centre.
They are the first of five new ‘concept’ Wilko stores that the new owners of the brand, CDS Superstores, plans to open before Christmas.
CDS Superstores, owner of discount homeware chain The Range, which has over 200 stores across the UK, acquired Wilko’s brand and intellectual property from administrators in September. The deal has already led to the relaunch of Wilko’s online operation, saving the jobs of 36 digital team members who transferred from the collapsed retailer.
CDS Superstores is also pledging to prioritise former Wilko workers in recruiting for the new Wilko stores, each of which it says will create up to 80 jobs.
Each store will offer shoppers “everything they need to get all their home and garden jobs done” including Wilko-branded products, according to the company. They will also feature self-service terminals allowing shoppers to browse and order from the 100,000 items already available on Wilko.com.
CDS Superstores said the locations of the other two stores due to open this year would be announced soon, and would be followed by a pipeline of new branches throughout 2024, which would include taking Wilko to Northern Ireland for the first time.
“It’s clear that there’s a huge love for Wilko and we’re proud to confirm we’ll be re-introducing the brand to high streets in Plymouth, Exeter and Luton in the coming weeks,” said CDS Superstores CEO Alex Simpkin.
“We’re also glad to be bringing employment opportunities to these towns and for helping local families and communities have easy access to all the everyday home and garden items they need once again.
“This initial rollout is only the beginning for our plans for revitalising the Wilko brand on the nation’s high streets and retail parks, and we’ll be announcing further store launches and reopenings throughout 2024.”
Those interested in applying for roles at the stores can do so at therange.co.uk/careers.
CDS Superstores is also encouraging landlords across the UK to “open productive conversations if they’re interested in being considered for the Wilko rollout programme”.
Wilko fell into administration in August, leading to the loss of about 12,000 jobs and the closure of all 400 of the chain’s stores.