Dunelm is eyeing former Wilko stores as part of its expansion strategy, the retailer’s CEO said.
CEO Nick Wilkinson expressed interest in rebranding some of the vacant Wilko branches as Dunelm locations.
The homewares retailer plans to double its store opening rate over the next two years.
It focuses on urban areas in southeast England and London, which currently have a limited presence.
Wilkinson said: “[Wilko] had 400 shops and we’re talking about five to ten shops a year, so we’re not one of the players to say we’d like to take on a tranche of stores.
“But I suspect what will happen is that as stores go back to landlords…there will be an opportunity to pick up [some of those shops].”
He added: “We will open in areas of denser population…to reduce drive time and make it more convenient for customers. We would love to have more stores in the inner London boroughs.”
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Dunelm won’t be alone in snapping up empty Wilko storefronts after the retailer’s recent administration.
Lidl CEO Ryan McDonnell said last week that his property team was actively discussing with Wilko’s administrator the potential acquisition of former Wilko stores.
Additionally, B&M has secured an agreement to purchase 52 stores, while Poundland has acquired 71 shops.
Notably, The Range has acquired Wilko’s brand, website, and intellectual property for £5 million.