These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.
The Range has bought Wilko’s website and intellectual property, so shoppers can expect to see Wilko own-brand items appear in The Range stores nationwide very soon.
Featured Image – Poundland
Thousands of Greater Manchester university students given free anti-drink spiking kits
Thousands of students arriving at Greater Manchester’s universities have been given free personal safety kits.
With Freshers Weeks currently in full swing, and new and returning students in their thousands having now descended on Greater Manchester to attend many of the region’s world-renowned universities, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) says it’s “dedicated” to ensuring all who come to study within the area are safe.
The force has dished-out thousands of free personal safety kits containing anti-drink spiking items, personal attack alarms, crime prevention leaflets, and more.
Dedicated GMP officers in each of the three boroughs’ city and town centres are also currently conducting community engagement activities with new students, and are actively talking to them about personal safety, theft, burglary, and cybercrime.
On top of this, police are also out on patrol at evening and night times, and will be in both plain clothes and visibly uniformed.
They’ll be particularly targeting the region’s “high-traffic areas” and “crime hotspots”.
GMP says this is to ensure everyone continues to be safe, and are “free to enjoy themselves in Greater Manchester’s bustling night life”.
Students who have moved, or are moving to live within the Greater Manchester region for the first time are also being actively encouraged by police to “familiarise” themselves with their new area.
This includes checking out public transport routes that they may be regularly using, obtaining up-to-date contact details and information for licensed taxi companies in the region, and familiarising themselves with the safest routes between their homes, shops, university buildings, and favourite places.
After the North West had more reports of spiking than anywhere else in 2021 – with around 90% of those incidents taking place in central Manchester – GMP has also pledged to provide support and information for potential victims of spiking.
The force is now actively-telling students what to do if they think they’ve been spiked.
“We know it can be scary to report being spiked,” GMP said in a statement.
“But the police are here to help you, and we will listen to you and take you seriously. It is not a crime to have illegal drugs in your system (unless you are driving), so please don’t let this stop you reporting spiking.”