I haven’t been in a Wilko’s in years so I was pleasantly surprised by their new store in Wythenshaw, Manchester. Using our SHOP methodology I thought I’d share some of the highlights.

Personality – The store is well on its way to delivering ‘The home of family value’. With only 10 days trading history under its belt it looked like it had already bedded into the community with several shoppers talking about how often they had been in the store since it opened – which lives up to their vision to engender loyalty and be at the heart of the community. There’s scope to be even more family centric though.

Education – the order & collect in store service platform and community services are clearly delivered at focal points in the store. But more could be made of them within key categories.

Engagement – They had some really interesting products in baking, gardening and Halloween – but I wanted more! As a mum I wanted the perfect Halloween party list, or baking ideas for Halloween – things to both make me buy and basket build.

Information – the store had an unusually spacey, clear and intuitive navigation system that seemed to reflect their natural audiences – e.g. DIY felt more masculine that health& beauty.

Promotion – certainly plenty of emphasis on value – with price check throughout the traditional grocery categories. But the overall store promotion “time for uni’ felt at odds with the retail environment and more importantly their shoppers – it felt excusive rather than inclusive. It’s clearly an opportunity area for Wilko’s and perfect from a timing view point but living on its own just felt out of kilter with their families.

Wilko’s are one of those rare retail success stories, but it seems to me their greatest challenge is to get new shoppers through the door and basket build once they are inside. With incredibly friendly and passionate colleagues, once in shoppers could find it surprisingly addictive. Needless to say I came out £12.10 lighter having bought things I’ve been meaning to buy for yonks!

Sue Benson