Why Wilko’s collapse is no surprise

The reality is that Wilko has been in financial decline for the last four years, so this isn’t something which can be blamed on the cost-of-living crisis.

Covid compounded its challenge with high street footfall, typically reducing this by around 40%. This meant that its expensive large stores in prominent high street locations were costly.

Discount retailers such as Wilko have also grappled with how to leverage online shopping when product margins are so small and operating costs for logistics of e-commerce can be so high. Therefore, they have ended up with a weaker digital presence. Primark is a good example of connecting the journey across online search and then shopping in store with cool features, enabling customers to check which products are available in store.

Online giants such as Amazon have been squeezing Wilko, and other budget retailers have been moving in on them. Wilko has also faced strong competition from supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco, who have really improved their household product ranges and DIY supplies.

Sadly, product, presence, and pace have been Wilko’s downfall. Product, as it didn’t keep such a close eye on competitors and understand what its customers wanted. Presence, as too many stores were in wrong locations for their demographic audience. Pace, as it failed to recognise that shoppers want choice and an omni-channel shopping experience, which it missed the mark on by not investing in digital routes.