Wilkinson’s trial rebranding here to stay?
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Over the last few months, you may have spotted the new Wilkinson logo – above – that has been quietly appearing on the retailer’s bags and own-brand product packaging.
I’m yet to read anything suggesting that the new logo is any more than a trial, linked to the testing of a new store format; certainly, the full rebrand seems to have been rolled out to only a handful of stores so far (but with seemingly positive reviews), and the WilkinsonPlus website is yet to receive any makeover at all. However, the new logo’s increasing ubiquity on Wilkinson bags and products suggests that it may well be here to stay.
I’ve never been a great fan of the old logo, which has been around for as long as I can remember (i.e. the 1980s!), and has been looking rather tired and clunky for, well, as long as I can remember. The new logo, in contrast, seems to be informed by similar principles to those that have made the 2007 rebranding of Morrisons a success.
First, it is much cleaner and crisper as a visual identity – particularly when viewed online. Second, just like Morrisons, the new logo respects the heritage of the old by retaining the same dominant colour (in this case red), but opting for a less garish shade. Again echoing Morrisons, this is presumably designed to assist Wilkinson in making further inroads beyond its north of England heartland, gently shifting perceptions from that of a value retailer to one that also emphasises quality.
Given that Wilkinson now has 325 stores across the UK, it will certainly be quite an undertaking to roll out the new look to all of them – particularly if, as with the trial stores, it involves a full revamp of the store interiors rather than just a new logo on the outside.
I’m also not clear whether Wilkinson’s new stores – such as the one due to open in Barnstaple in September – are already adopting the new store format and visual identity. Barnstaple’s new store, incidentally, is noteworthy in that it’s one of the very few former Woolworths sites that Wilkinson has acquired; the only others that I’m aware of are in Ilford and Bognor Regis.
I’m surprised really that Wilkinson has not snapped up more of the larger Woolworths stores, given that it sells many of the same products (only more successfully), and in many ways can be seen as Woolworths’ natural successor. Perhaps it’s because Wilkinson is already represented in many of those town and city centre locations – such as Newcastle – where the old Woolworths stores are large enough to meet its needs?
Anyway, now it’s over to you with a couple of questions. First, what do you think of the new logo? And second, where else would you like to see Wilkinson take over an old Woolworths store?