Value retailer Wilkinson is to take its discount offer north of the border with the opening of its first store in Scotland this autumn.

Wilkinson will open an 18,860 sq ft store at Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway later this year. Wilkinson chief executive Stuart Mitchell declined to comment on whether the retailer would open further stores in Scotland this year.

The general merchandise retailer’s application for the store – formerly a Co-op – is in the hands of local planners. The site is understood to have lain vacant for some time.

The move to Scotland is one of several initiatives that the retailer has undertaken to increase sales in the past year. Its online venture, Wilkinson Plus, launched late last year and has expanded to offer 80,000 products, as well as home delivery.

It is understood that Wilkinson is also mulling a revamp of its store environment in an effort to modernise its offer.

Traditionally, Wilkinson has spent little on its store interiors, but Retail Knowledge Bank senior partner Robert Clark said: “The mixed-goods format lends itself to a functional approach, but you need to keep evolving retail environments. The variety store format is difficult and Wilkinson probably needs to do something.”

Based at Worksop in Nottinghamshire, Wilkinson trades from more than 300 sites in the UK and is scheduled to open at least 12 stores this year. It has set itself a target of operating 500 outlets by 2012.