All Wilko stores in Medway have closed

6 October 2023In Medway1 Minutes
Stock photo of a Wilko sign. Photo: Future Medway

Wilko has permanently shut all four of its branches in Medway.

It had shops in Gillingham High Street, Strood High Street, Rainham Shopping Precinct and Chatham’s Pentagon Centre, which was the final one to close on Tuesday (3 October).

The retail chain fell into administration in August after struggling with losses and competition from rivals, such as B&M, Poundland and Home Bargains.

Inside the former Wilko store in Chatham
Empty shelves in the former Wilko Chatham branch

Poundland agreed to take on 71 of Wilko’s store leases, although none of them are in Medway.

B&M also snapped up 51 Wilko stores in a £13 million deal last month – but it’s unlikely these include the Medway branches as they are in close proximity to existing B&M shops.

While it’s too early to know the future of Medway’s empty Wilko stores, the top floor of the Chatham branch is set to become part of the new NHS Healthy Living Centre.

Founded in 1930, Wilko had become one of Britain’s fastest-growing retailers after filling in the gap left by Woolworths, which went under in 2009.