Poundland opens new store in former Headingley Wilko
The budget retailer Poundland opened its latest store in Headingley over the weekend.
The new store, which opened on 4 November, replaces Wilko which fell into administration earlier this year as it struggled with a decline in revenue and a cash shortage.
Poundland bought over 70 Wilko stores in September, including the Headingley Central store, to convert the failed homeware and household chain into its own brand.
The store, which spans across two floors, offers shoppers a similar range of cleaning, homeware, electrical and DIY products that Wilko had sold.
The biggest change is on the upstairs floor, with a large range of PEP&CO branded men, women and children’s clothing.
With everything from socks to puffer jackets – and a Poundland Christmas jumper – the store offers shoppers in Headingley a new budget clothing option.
There’s also an expanded range of food items, with a selection of tinned and long-life items as well as the much-missed pick and mix.
Poundland has sought to rapidly convert the former Wilko retail units, with some opening as little as one week after they closed.
There are still a few remnants of Wilko in the building – the stair handrails are still painted red and the tills and most of the shelving are the same – but the retailer said it would carry out a full refurbishment of the new stores next year.
Poundland said it would prioritise Wilko staff in hiring for the new positions created and it has so far made offers of employment to over 500.
Austin Cooke, Poundland’s managing director said: “To open 75 stores in the space of a single quarter is nothing short of a super-human effort from every member of the Poundland team. To each and every one of them, I say ‘thank you’.
“But we’re working at this pace because we’re on a mission–ambitious to grow, create jobs and serve new communities by opening shops customers and communities can be proud of.”
Another budget retailer, The Range, which bought Wilko’s brand and intellecutal property in a £5 million deal after the chain collapsed, has announced that Wilko will return to the high street.
As well selling Wilko branded product in The Range stores, the retailer says it also will open five standalone Wilko stores before Christmas – though none are set to open in Leeds.
Oivia Davies, who studies at the University of Leeds and lives near Headingley, said she was excited by the new store.
“Poundland is a really good affordable option for household items for students.”
Kate Ives said Wilko had offered a high street option for people without cars to access a wide range of goods.
She was pleased to see Poundland was selling a similar range of products.
“It’s hard to get hold DIY and homeware if you can’t get to a retail park. The same is true with growing plants – most garden centres are far out of town.”