Video: New Wilko store opens today

TODAY is the day the brand new Wilkinson store opens and the Crawley Observer was given a sneak peak of the shop which will help revive the Broadway.

It is the first of the chain to be branded Wilko.

Wilkinson staff outside Crawley store'JPCO

Wilkinson staff outside Crawley store'JPCO

The former TJ Hughes shop has stood empty since that firm went into administration in August 2011 with the loss of more than 60 jobs.

Wilko has created 58 permanent and 37 temporary positions – and bosses plan to offer support to its chosen charity, St Catherine’s Hospice, in Southgate.

Visitors from St Catherine’s will be at the opening and a Wilko team will be entering the Dragon Boat festival to raise money for the hospice on September 2 at Tilgate Park.

Barry Holden, manager of the 28,000 square foot store, said: “A lot of people know the store as Wilko and it makes it familiar.

“We chose Crawley because we wanted to regenerate the area and really offer something great”.

The 370-store family owned chain sells own-label homeware essentials such as textiles, DIY, cleaning products, confectionery, health and beauty lines and kitchen and bathroom goods.

The Broadway store is a pilot store offering wifi and 3D signage.

Mr Holden added: “I have worked 11 years in the business and have moved to this store from Worthing. It’s a great opportunity and a whole new learning curve for me with this Crawley store. I’m used to a lot of red but there is hardly any in this store!”

The store also offers a click and collect service where people can order products online and collect in store.

There are two car parking spaces at the back of the building specifically for this service.

Customers will also have access to two cash points and a Dulux colour-match paint service.