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Announcement of Wilko return to Exeter welcomed in the city

Published: 27 October 2023

Announcement of Wilko return to Exeter welcomed in the city Wilko

The announcement that Exeter has been chosen as a location for a new concept Wilko store has been welcomed in the city.

Exeter has been chosen as one of five initial locations in the UK by the owners of The Range to trade under the Wilko brand. It has announced that it plans to launch its first two Wilko shops in Exeter and Plymouth.

CDS Superstores, which owns The Range, said former Wilko staff would be given priority in the recruitment process for the new shops.

Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “It is great news that they have announced Exeter as a planned location for a Wilko store. The decision demonstrates the strength of the city as a retail destination, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

“Wilko is a very popular store in Exeter and many people have been keen to know what will happen to it. I welcome plans for investment in the city and look forward to seeing the store concept develop in the weeks ahead.”

Chief Executive Bindu Arjoon added: “This is a vote of confidence in Exeter. It is great that the city has been identified as among the first locations in the UK for a planned return of the Wilko brand, and it is very welcome news for retail in the city.”

CDS Superstores Chief Executive Alex Simpkin said: “The public reaction to the loss of Wilko stores was undeniable.

“That’s why we’ve taken the decision to reintroduce Wilko back to many of the High Streets and communities that it used to so proudly serve.”

CDS Superstores is aiming to opening up to five Wilko stores before Christmas as “concept” stores. As well as Exeter and Plymouth, two locations in the South East and one in the North of England are expected to be announced soon.

Wilko has been a familiar sight in Exeter’s Guildhall Shopping Centre for almost 13 years after opening in 2010. The store closed earlier this month after the company went into administration.

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