Wilko is still a strong brand
September 18th, 2023, Stephan Shakespeare

Wilko is still a strong brand

Type Wilko into Google, and the headlines will paint a picture of a company in dire strats. But the data tells a very different story: one of a well-liked brand handily outperforming the competition.

Since January 2022, YouGov BrandIndex shows that Wilko’s Impression scores (which measure general sentiment) haven’t seen much movement, going from 39.6 to 39.5 as of 31 July 2023 (-0.1). By comparison, the general retailers we track have enjoyed a much lower score, going  from 12.7 to 13.0 (+0.3) over the same period.

Wilko hasn’t seen meaningful change in terms of its Value for Money scores, which went from 40.3 to 40.1 (-0.2) in this timeframe – the most recent sector average was 5.7 – or in the metric tracking perceptions of its quality, which slightly improved from 11.3 to 11.8 (+0.5) compared to a sector average of 10.9.

Customers aren’t less happy with Wilko: in fact, looking at Satisfaction scores, they’re exactly as happy with the brand as they were at the beginning of 2022 (1 January 2022: 43.8; 31 July 2023: 43.8), with general retailers scoring 11.1 as 31 July 2023. Same story with Consideration scores, which measure which brands they’d consider buying from when they are next in the market for retail goods (44.2, compared to a most recent score of 12.2 for the sector).

Index scores, which paint a picture of overall brand health by combining several metrics, may tell the story most succinctly: they were 28.4 on 1 January 2022, they’re 28.4 as of 31 July 2023, and any way you look at it, they’re much better than those of the overall sector (9.4).

Analysts have pinned the blame for Wilko’s deterioration on large stores in expensive locations, an emphasis on low-profit goods, and COVID-19, among other things. But whatever’s going wrong under the hood, it’s still a brand that stokes positive feeling in the nation’s consumers. If Wilko can be rescued, the public may well appreciate it.

A version of this article originally appeared in City AM.