Joey Essex is shown the joys of Wilko

The Only Way Is Wilko it seems for reality personality Joey Essex as he headed to Intu Lakeside last week to open a Wilko store.

“It was great having Joey come down and open the new store and to get the chance to show him our great product range. He obviously liked what he saw and went away with lots of Wilko products for himself. We know shoppers will be impressed by the quality and value we have to offer and with lots of new products for the home and garden in store, now is the perfect time to come and browse our collections.” – Wilko Lakeside store manager, Steve Vaz

Joey, best known for appearing on the ITV ‘scripted reality series’ The Only Way Is Essex, mingled with customers and staff at the latest Wilko store while picking up a feather duster along the way. Wilko is the recently re-branded name for that much loved high street store, Wilkinsons, which seemed to take over the role of the late Woolworths in the nations hearts as the ‘sells a bit of everything’ store, they even have the pic ‘n’ mix.

Essex shoppers came out in force on Wednesday (May 24th) as possibly its most famous resident Joey Essex opened the new store inside the intu Lakeside shopping centre. Joey not only lead the ceremonial ribbon cutting – he bagged himself a collection of bargain Wilko homeware for his bachelor pad.

Video Feature: Joey Essex opens Intu Lakeside Wilko store

Fans gathered outside the store just to get a glimpse of their idol while Joey officially declared the store opened alongside Steph Westall from MacMillan, Wilko Family Director, Lisa Wilkinson and Wilko Lakeside store manager, Steve Vaz.

The first 100 customers through the door took home free £20 gift cards and goody bags stuffed with Wilko products, while shoppers at the store in the morning got autographs and selfies with Joey. Joey then filled his own Wilko bag with lots of products from the store – including mirrors, Blox toys and hairspray. Joey is famously fond of keeping his pad clinically clean and dust-free, of course.

“I was buzzing to open the new Wilko store and meet the reem team. I love that I got to cut the ribbon and pick up a few bits for my new pad.” – Joey Essex

Founded in 1930 as Wilkinson Stores by J K Wilkinson, Wilko has become one of the biggest mixed content stores on the high street, with more recent arrivals in shopping centres, including the Metro Centre, one time Europe’s biggest mall, in Gateshead. The company currently operates over 400 stores. Wilko remains a third generation, family-owned business after more than 85 years of trading.

Key product ranges include homewares and furnishings, garden and outdoor lifestyle products, DIY and decorating and health & beauty. Details of where to find Wilko stores, plus information on products, can be found on the company’s website at

Joey Essex takes a wander around the new Wilko store in Lakeside Shopping Centre.

Joey Essex with the staff of Lakeside’s Wilko store.

New era: how the Wilko store looks in the Lakeside Shopping Centre, Essex.

As it was: The old 1970s-2000s Wilkinson logo as seen on their Gateshead town centre store in 2009.
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