So here we are, heading towards the final quarter of 2023 and Wilko is in administration. This should be no suprise to anyone. I wrote a blog on jan 1st 2019 (yes, over four years ago) about the fall of the highstret (with a focus on Wilko).
Just have a look at some of the photos in that article. No stock and messy shelves. If you can't supply what people want (like lids for the pick & mix) then people will stop coming, it's as simple as that.
I feel sorry for the 12,000 jobs now at risk, but from the ashes of zombie companies there will be life. Some retailers who are more successful (think B&M, Poundland etc) will no doubt take some stores, and the staff will find other roles. We're told on a frequent basis how there's a labour shortage and everyone over 50 seems to have retired early!
It's sad when a company this size dies. I liked Wilko, even if it was just for some pick & mix, squirty bath foam or a pack of screws, but the writing was on the wall for years.
Interestingly, this article in the Retail Gazette, written in 2018 about Woolworths, is like a mirror for the situation at Wilko.
The demise of Wilko should be a wakeup call. You need to compete with Amazon and other upstarts on the highstreet. Don't rest on your laurels, sit on your hands or stick your head in the sand! Innovate, become more agile, reduce costs and satisfy customers. The status quo won't work.