Wilko announces big change to store rules – but it leaves shoppers divided

Wilko has announced a new policy that has affected 248 stores nationwide, including a select few Scottish locations.

From Monday, February 7, the home and garden retailer confirmed that pets are officially welcome in a variety of stores across the country for the very first time.

Three stores in Scotland are now officially pet friendly, meaning shoppers can take their furry friends into the Ayr, Fort Kinnaird and Castle Douglas stores.

Wilko has said that pets will be able to browse with their human companions in the participating stores, with the exception of the food isolates.

The retailer has said that the decision to roll-out the change to a majority of its stores follows a successful pilot at two locations.

While it’s good news for pet owners, the policy has been met with a divided response from shoppers who have debated the behavior of family pets.

Wilko has announced a new pet friendly policy in select stores across Scotland
Wilko has announced a new pet friendly policy in select stores across Scotland

Announcing the change on Facebook, Wilko wrote: “A pet is more than just a pet, they’re family. That’s why we’ve decided to welcome pets in-store at 248 of our locations.

“We hope that shoppers will enjoy bringing their furry friends along with them. Please check for new signage at the entrance of your local store to see if they are participating.”

The post has been liked 16,000 times and received and nearly 10,000 comments from shoppers who are either all for the idea or a little more against it.

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“Brilliant wish all shops would do this xx”, wrote one shopper who welcomed the news.

“What a brilliant idea! I really don’t like being among loads of people so having a few dogs about will make me feel much more relaxed,” said another positive shopper.

While a third commented: “Love this, would much rather shop with dogs at least the dogs will be on leads and kept under control unlike the out of control screaming children who run around everywhere touching everything, seems like this is a fair deal well done Wilko!!”

A fourth happy shopper said: “I think its brilliant… there nothing worse than tied up dogs that get stolen so many people fear this will happen to their pooch they have to leave them at home! Dogs are everywhere if you dont like them fair enough YOU stay at home.”

Other shoppers, however, were not so keen as they believed that only guide dogs and assisted handling dogs should be allowed in stores.

“One shop I will now not be shopping in to keep myself and my assistance dog safe!! Wilko you should do better and no better shame on you! I have already had an incident in one of your stores with a pet dog trying to attack my assistance dog!! And that was before you did this stupid rule. So many assistance dog handlers will now be at risk, which is Life threatening for the handlers”, fumed one shopper.

“Not good when assistance dogs are in shop’s working and keeping their handlers safe and they get barked at and attacked from pet dogs that aren’t in control,” said another.

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Another shopper said: “It should be guide dogs only.”

Wilko has said that the new pet friendly policy will primarily be in place for stores that have their own on-street entrance, while guide dogs are still welcome in all stores nationwide.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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