Hundreds of savvy shoppers braved the drizzle to turn out for the official opening of Chester’s new Wilko store on Foregate Street on Thursday morning (March 3).
The first 100 bargain-hunters through the doors received a goody bag to celebrate the store’s relocation from its home for the past 20 years further down Foregate Street.
Located in the former Marks and Spencer menswear store, the new Wilko is almost twice the size of its predecessor site at 18,000 square feet and is spread over two floors.
“It’s lovely,” Maxine said.
“It’s more convenient now because it’s closer to the bus stops and to other shops.
“It’s much more modern and not as squashed.”
While Pauline added: “This is a much better store – there is so much more variety.”
Store manager Chris Hackney was delighted by the ‘fantastic’ turnout.
“We have only moved a couple of hundred yards but now we’re so close to the clock, opposite Marks and Spencer and have all the bus stops just outside.
“We are expecting it to be really successful.
“I would imagine we’ll have between 15,000 and 20,000 customers each week, whereas the old store had between 9,000 and 10,000.
“I would like to welcome people to our new store and hope all our old customers will visit us, as well as new customers.”
Wilko staff presented a cheque for £1,000 to Claire House Children’s Hospice, which was accepted by the charity’s community fundraiser Rhyanna Morris.
Rhyanna, who was dressed as the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy in celebration of World Book Day, also helped open the shop.
Other World Book Day festivities at the shop will include a face painter transforming children into their favourite characters and photo opportunities with the likes of Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.
More events in the pipeline
For those unable to make it along to the opening, Wilko is hosting a family fun day on Saturday (March 5) where the first 100 customers will receive a Mother’s Day themed goody bag, with five bags including a golden ticket for a £50 Wilko gift voucher.
Wilko will also hold a special Student Sunday on March 13, where 50 ‘student survival cleaning packs’ will be handed out to the first 50 students through the doors, and the first 100 customers in store will receive a free product when they spend over £5.