Hardware and variety retailer to double stores
Hardware and variety retailer Wilkinson will almost double store numbers to 500 before 2012 and is considering venturing overseas.

Wilkinson has 280 stores and this week relaunched its transactional web site. The site reveals ambitious expansion plans, which include its first stores in Scotland, as well as further afield.

Chief executive Stuart Mitchell remained tight-lipped about details and would not comment on potential international markets, but conceded there were great opportunities in the UK.

The retailer believes it has massive untapped potential in the UK because just 18 per cent of UK consumers shop in its stores at present.

Mitchell added: 'The business is doing well.' Wilkinson's pre-tax profits jumped 88 per cent to£48.4 million, on sales up 9.7 per cent to£1.3 billion for the year to February 2 (Retail Week, June 29).

Wilkinson added books and electricals to its online offer as part of the site relaunch this week. The new site offers a vastly increased product range of 800,000, compared with 'quite a small number' of products previously, said Mitchell.