Wilko has announced that it’s now welcoming four-legged friends inside over 200 of its stores across the UK for the first time.
The home and gardens retailer says it understands that “a pet is more than just a pet, they’re family”, which is why furry friends, on their leads if applicable, are now able browse all areas of the 248 participating stores (except for food aisles) following a successful trial period at two UK locations.
“We hope that shoppers will enjoy bringing their furry friends along with them,” Wilko said in a statement on its social media platforms yesterday.
Wilko explained that the participating stores allowing pets inside are primarily those with their own on-street entrance and exit, rather than those that are, for example, located in shopping centres that may not allow any animal guests, or where the entrance isn’t pet-friendly.
Signage at store entrances will make it clear if pets are welcome, although customers can also check with the store team if they are unsure.
All service dogs and Guide Dogs are, of course, welcome at all stores nationwide.
Wilko says that it expects most of the pet customers will be either dogs or cats, and these four-legged shoppers are likely to find many products in-store that “get their tails wagging”.
The retailer stocks everything from pet food and treats, to bedding, toys, cleaning supplies, healthy pet essentials, and even presents, costumes and accessories during key seasonal celebrations.
For other animal “family members”, Wilko is also home to reptile, bird, and fish pet supplies too.
It’s fair to say that the public reaction to the announcement has been mixed though.
One concerned parent commented on Wilko’s Facebook post saying: “This is no good for my child that has anaphylaxis reactions to animal dander and saliva. Service dogs have their place in stores and we can avoid them and monitor, they are well behaved etc [but] pets do not belong in stores and raises the risk for my son to come in contact with areas that have been contaminated.”
“We won’t be shopping in your all dogs welcome stores,” they concluded.
Another concerned shopper raised a similar point: “That’s ok if they are well behaved [but] I have a Guide Dog and find yaps on straps are enough of a pain outside the shops, so it’s going to be very interesting in a confined space down an aisle.
“My dog doesn’t want to talk to your dog, he’s working,” they said, and added: “Guide Dogs can get very stressed if a little dog is yapping around their legs.”
While there has been a fair amount of backlash and customers announcing that they will boycott the stores where pets are welcome, other shoppers have been complementary of the move Wilko has taken.
“Brilliant, I wish all shops would do this,” one shopper said.
Wilko is yet to formally comment on the backlash by customers threatening to boycott the store.
Featured Image – Wilko
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”