Blackburn Wilko store is set to close its doors for the last time on Thursday, October 5, 2023. This closure marks the end of an era for the historic retailer, which has struggled in recent times due to weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.
It leaves a major empty space in Blackburn Town Centre. The store was previously occupied by BHS. The former Debenhams site, is now operating a a Job Centre.
Wilko, a popular hardware and furnishings retailer, recently fell into administration, prompting the closure of its remaining stores across the country. In total, the company will shut down its final 111 stores in early October as part of the last phase of closures, according to administrators from PwC.
The collapse of Wilko has been a significant blow to the retail industry, as it was once a cornerstone of the high street. Founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester in 1930, the retailer employed approximately 12,500 workers before its unfortunate downfall.
Despite the closure of its physical stores, the Wilko brand will not entirely vanish from the UK high street. The Range, another prominent retail chain, has stepped in to acquire Wilko’s brand, website, and intellectual property. The Range plans to incorporate the acquired brand into its stores, ensuring that some of Wilko’s products and legacy continue to be available to consumers.
It marks a turning point in the evolving retail landscape. The challenges faced by Wilko serve as a stark reminder of the impact of shifting consumer preferences and economic pressures on even the most enduring retail institutions.
Our best wishes are with all the staff affected.