Beestonia Breaks Bad News: Wilkinsons Will NOT Return.

Title sez it all, ok? I don’t want the Soubz stuff to drop out of view, and something tells me it won’t. I await her response.

However. I have some very bad news, and best relate it. Remember the Wilkos stuff? I have an update, and it’s a a grim read.

To recap: Wilkos was told 9 years ago that they were likely to have to relocate should the tram be given the green-light Political to and froing bought a lot of uncertainty to this, the Conservatives opposing and blocking even when it became an inevitabilaty, the other parties complicit in using this as a battleground. The development was delayed, and it wasn’t until late December that Wilkos anounced it’s closure.

I was asked, by the BBC, why the campaign I subsequently launched was in support of a chain store. I explained that in no way was I a supporter of the chain, but the shop in question, and the 54 staff who worked there. Read Beestonian passim for more context.

Rumours came through of late that Wilkos, despite a ‘dedicated urge to return’ to Beeston, as well as an utter massive mountain of compensation payments, have decided to forget Beeston.

I contacted their Head Office, to either confirm or squash these rumours. I’m afraid they confirmed:

Dear Matt


Thank you very much for your email and for the opportunity to provide a response to the points you have raised concerning the closure of the Wilkinson store in Beeston.


Wilkinsons has stated on a number of occasions that the decision to close the Beeston store was only necessary as a direct result of the compulsory purchase order imposed upon the company to make way for the new tram system in the town.  The company said publicly at the time: “We loved being in Beeston and serving our many loyal customers there. Indeed, we were touched by the strength of feeling shown by the local community once it became clear we had no choice other than to close our well-established and highly successful Beeston store”.


As soon as it was confirmed that Wilkinsons would have to make way for the tram, its expert property team began a rigorous search for an alternative site. However, the criteria required for a successful modern retail operation are many and complex. They include finding a site with the optimum size, location, access for deliveries, visibility and so on. To date, regrettably, the company has not been successful in finding such a replacement site in Beeston but local discussions continue.


In spite of the difficulty in finding a new Beeston site, Wilkinsons has forged ahead with new store openings in 2012 with nine new stores opening during the year at Bolton, Bromley, Bicester, Devizes, Washington, Falmouth, Crawley , Pwllheli – and the latest just yesterday (15 November) at Edmonton Green.  As is usual, the locations of any store openings planned for 2013 are currently subject to planning and regulatory issues and announcements will be made when appropriate.


I do hope the above information clarifies our position regarding this issue Matt and thank you again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards


Joanne Lane
Senior Consumer Advisor


2 thoughts on “Beestonia Breaks Bad News: Wilkinsons Will NOT Return.

  1. Always good to see someone asking an organisation directly, rather than whinging behind their backs – even better when the organisation actually responds. Aside from cancelling the tram, do you think there was any way of keeping Wilkos in Beeston?

  2. Chris says:

    LIDL and TESCO produce a store from nothing but its too big a challenge for the Wilko ‘experts’.

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