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Our local Wilkinson's store is relatively small but they have managed to cram an enormous amount of `kit` into such a small space. I must admit that a few weeks ago I got a little bit frustrated because the powers that be had obviously decided that the store layout had to be changed and that threw me, before the changes had been implemented I knew exactly where to go for the goods that I was searching for but the new layout meant that I had to trawl the aisles and hunt for my purchases. Of course the hierarchy think that they are being clever when they make their shopper hunt the store but any seasoned bargain hunter will tell you that they are immune to such ploys.
Wilkinson's open from 9am till 5.30pm, except on a Sunday when they open at 10am and close the doors at 4pm. The store is always brightly lit and it does beckon you to walk in through the doors and take a look at the goods on offer. But before you walk in through the sliding doors you may want to take a browse through some of the reduced goods that are displayed in wire baskets outside of the front door. Some of the reductions can be well worth taking advantage of, they often throw many end of line clearance items into those baskets.
I feel that Wilkinson's have a good selection of toiletries, some of them are their own brand (Wilko) and they are usually a little cheaper than the bigger named brands. But throughout the store you will notice many good brand named goods that are very competitively priced. The store is very well lit and it is always clean and ultra tidy which is no mean feat when they have had a busy day. Good marketing is the keyword and Wilkinson's have well discounted goods on display that face you as soon as you enter the store. A lot of these goods are priced at 99p and that is always one of the first displays that I stop to examine. Posters on the store windows state that Wilkinson's sell many goods that are under £1.
The store is more often than not busy and the aisles are not wide so this means that there has to be a certain amount of `give and take`. A while ago Wilkinson's decided to invest I some rather larger plastic hand baskets that will also suffice as a pull along trolley if you slide out the telescopic handle. In essence they are a good way of transporting goods to the tills but the hand baskets come trolleys take up a lot of room and it is sometimes a little bit difficult to manoeuvre them. But I will give credit where credit is due you rarely have to wait too long to be served at our store, if the supervisor sees a queue forming then another member of staff is hailed to jump onto the tills to serve. When the words `carrier bag` became an unmentionable subject you then had to request a plastic carried bag from the cashier but as the weeks and months have gone on I have noticed that the staff will instantly offer you a carrier bag if you need one. But every time you visit the checkout at Wilkinson's be prepared, as you start to pay for your goods you will be asked if you need to purchase any postage stamps or phone top ups. It seems that the staff have to ask all customers and failure to do so could result in a disciplinary. I don't mind at all, as the cashier is putting my good through I will usually say that I am don't need any stamps or top ups to save her asking, after all it must drive them as mad as it does us !
If I am looking for good quality picture frames then Wilkinson's would be the first place that I would head for, their picture frames are excellent and they represent such good value. Out store carries a small selection of electrical goods but I believe that you can order far more on-line from the Wilkinson's store catalogue. Pets are catered for and the pet food and toys are far cheaper than our local pet shop. Wilkinson's have a wide selection of paint and DIY goods and this holds them in good stead, it is either use the local Wilkinson's or go a few miles and see what the larger DIY stores have. Little things like elastic, sewing thread, press studs can all be found on display , I find that is really useful I have also noticed that they have quite a good selection of knitting wool too.
Although Christmas has just come and gone Wilkinson's had a good range of very affordable children's toys in stock and I think that these toys must have proved popular, I frequently saw parents laden with boxed toys. Greetings cards are also a good bet, Wilkinson's have an extensive range of greetings cards and I am always stocking up. I can buy a large well designed greetings card for little more than £1, put that price up against some of the major greeting card chains and it comes out ahead. They also had many selection boxes, boxes of chocolates and tubes of sweets offered as a multi-buy.
Wilkinson's is a favourite with keen gardeners, the store sells gardening tools at decent prices. You can buy seeds , seed potato, onion sets or even a pound of loose grass seed should you need it. Wilkinson's stock fertiliser, plant food and when it is bulb planting season then you can get a very good deal on larger bags of bulbs.
I could go on and write another couple of hundred words about Wilkinson's but I feel that you must have the gist by now! In short it is a good all round store that can offer a good deal, the store is comfortable to browse ( unless someone is pushing one of those plastic trolley baskets!), the staff are helpful and friendly and you may well have gathered that I am one of their regulars.