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A policy of offering the lowest possible prices has reaped huge rewards for Tony Wilkinson and his sister Barbara who run Wilkinson Hardware Stores, based in Nottinghamshire. The firm started by opening a store in Leicester in 1930, and today the family is worth £295m. Their 222 discount home and garden stores sell everything from clothes, DIY and toiletries to sweets. With a booming home-improvement market driving ambitious expansion plans, it increased sales by more than £105m to £922m in 2003, when it employed 17,916 people.

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Company details
ActivityValue retailer
Sales £m*922
Profit £m*45
Year endJan 03
Principal shareholdersWilkinson family (99.8%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated