Why Wilko’s found home on The Range
September 29th, 2023, Stephan Shakespeare

Why Wilko’s found home on The Range

The Range will purchase the Wilko brand after administrators failed to secure a rescue bid for the wider business. It will own the company’s website, and will have the option to sell its products, but Wilko shops will still leave the nation’s high streets and most staff will still therefore lose their jobs.

In these circumstances: Why buy Wilko’s brand at all? YouGov data sheds some light on the move.

Firstly, looking at The Range’s current customers, two in five (42%) say they already shop at Wilko, compared to just a quarter (25%) of the general public. In fact, looking at all the general retailers we track, Wilko is the brand The Range’s customers are most likely to use (outside of The Range itself). The next most-used store among the brand’s target audience is B&Q (34%), which has some overlap with Wilko in terms of products and services (but as a subsidiary of Kingfisher plc with a net income of £603 million for 2022/2023, we assume it would be much harder to acquire).

Looking at Impression measures, which track whether consumers have a positive or negative view of a company, three in five (59%) Range customers take a positive view of the retailer compared to just over two in five (43%) Britons overall.

Wilko is also a brand that most of The Range’s customers are willing to advocate for. Just over half (52%) say they would recommend it to their friends and family, compared to two in five (38%) members of the British public.

When you present a list of brands for The Range’s customers to buy from, 58% would consider Wilko compared to 45% of the public. The only general retail brands that beat out Wilko are Dunelm (59% vs. 41%), and Argos (58% vs. 42%), and both have rather different product portfolios.

So The Range isn’t just buying a website and an assortment of Wilko products: it’s buying a brand that resonates strongly with its customers.