WILKO stores are set to return to the UK high street after the chain collapsed earlier this year.
Customers will be able to shop at their favorite discount store again, with the opening of five stores before Christmas.
Wilko is set to return to the UK high street after crashing earlier this yearCredit: Alamy
The Wilko name and intellectual property was bought by rival discounter The Range in the summer.
Now CDS Superstores, which trades as The Range and Wilko, has confirmed it will relaunch the chain at locations in England, Scotland and Wales in a surprise move.
The company also said it will open Wilko stores in Northern Ireland for the first time.
Five stores are planned to open before Christmas.
So far the only confirmed exact locations are in Plymouth and Exeter.
These places should be open in early December.
Two more stores will open in the southeast and one in the north, which will be announced soon.
The roll-out will then continue in January with the aim of opening more stores within a few months, according to CDS.
Alex Simpkin, head of CDS Superstores, said: “The public reaction to the loss of Wilko stores has been undeniable.
“It’s clear there’s a lot of love for Wilko and we’ve seen encouraging demand for the return of his own brand products.
“That’s why we’ve taken the decision to reintroduce Wilko to the many high streets and communities it once served so proudly.”
Mr Simpkin added that the company would look to give preference to former Wilko employees as part of the recruitment process for the new stores.
Almost 10,000 employees were made redundant after the closure of 400 Wilkos stores.
The new stores will offer value items including cleaning and household, decorating and DIY, garden and outdoor, homeware, pet, storage and seasonal items.
Customers will also be able to purchase the wilko.com range for home delivery using in-store terminals.
Wilko.com returned to The Range ownership earlier this month, and Wilko-branded items are stocked in The Range stores.
Concessions are open in 210 stores of the chain, where many popular Wilko products are sold.
CDS Superstores is asking landlords across the UK to start “productive conversations” if they are interested in their sites becoming Wilko stores.
A combination of former stores and new locations is being considered, it added.
Wilko fell into administration in August before a flurry of potential buyers showed interest.
But, unfortunately, a buyer for the entire business could not be found and it was then announced that all 400 stores would close by October.
The last of Wilko’s locations closed for good on Sunday, October 8th.
A flurry of competitors bought a handful of stores.
Among them is Poundland, which bought 71 Wilko stores.
The first of these reopened under the Poundland name earlier this month, with more to follow.
B&M has also agreed to buy up to 51 sites in a deal worth £13m.
These locations have not yet been announced, but will reopen as B&M stores.
In September, administrators confirmed they had agreed to sell the retailer’s brand to The Range in a deal worth £5m.
As part of the deal, which also includes Wilko’s intellectual property, 36 jobs were saved as employees were transferred.
Rival chains Home Bargains and Dunelm have also offered devastated Wilko staff new roles after the retailer collapsed.
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