Established in Leicester in the 1930s, Wilkinson is today owned by the founder’s granddaughters, Karin Swann, 49, and Lisa Wilkinson, 45, who jointly chair the company. Four million customers visit Wilkinson’s 372 stores every week, shopping for its 25,000 products, which include home and kitchen goods, as well as gardening and cleaning products. The difficult retail environment has dented profits, which fell 38% to £65m, but the firm continues to expand, opening nine new stores in 2012 and investing in its online offering.
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