CORONATION STREET STAR OPENS RE-BRANDED WILKINSON STORE IN MIDDLETON
|Author: E.ON||Published: 26th April 2012 17:11|
Coronation Street star, Julie Hesmondhalgh, drew huge crowds to the official re-opening of the rebranded Wilkinson store, situated in The Mall, Middleton, on Thursday 26th April.
The star, who plays Hayley Cropper, posed for pictures and signed autographs alongside a Kate Middleton lookalike, to celebrate the store's new look, which opened three days before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first wedding anniversary.
Julie and ‘Kate' joined manager of the Middleton Popstars Academy, Anne Marshall, Wilkinsons' head of property, Ian Cutts and store manager, Sharon Cholodowski in a ribbon cutting ceremony - marking a start to the Regal themed celebrations.
Long serving staff members, Cath Morris, Ann Dale and Judy Wilkinson, were also invited to join the ceremony, as a thank you for over 60 years' service with the company, and were congratulated with a celebratory cake, which was presented by store manager, Sharon.
As part of Wilkinsons' commitment to the local community, Sharon presented Julie with a cheque donation to her chosen charity, The Maundy Relief Trust, which provides an immediate response to poverty in the local community. Anne also received a cheque donation on behalf of the Middleton Popstars Academy, which is a non-profit performing arts centre.
To celebrate the new look store and to toast the Royal couple, early bird customers received a complimentary glass of sparkling grape juice and a piece of anniversary cake. A gold crown and a lollipop were also handed out to the first 50 children to walk through the tills. Shoppers were also entertained by the Middleton Popstars Academy members, who performed a series of song and dance routines throughout the morning.
To raise money for Wilkinsons' charity of the year, Age UK, staff members also hosted a ‘Guess the Name of the Corgi' game, where one lucky customer walked away with a hamper jam packed full of products from the ‘Garden' and ‘Street Party' range, which included Union Jack themed partyware products, seeds and gardening equipment.
Sharon said: "We couldn't have asked for a better re-opening and it was a huge success from start to finish. Julie was certainly a hit with the customers and ‘Kate' and the Middleton Popstars Academy really got everyone in the celebratory spirit."
Julie said: "Thanks to the people of Middleton for such a warm welcome and I am extremely grateful for Wilkinsons' generous donation to The Maundy Relief Trust. It's fantastic to see a well-known high street retailer supporting small, local charities and community groups."
The patriotic festivities will continue on Saturday 28th April, when complimentary cake, crowns and lollipops will be handed out to early bird shoppers and a free face painter will be transforming children into fun characters from 10am until 4pm.
A family owned firm after 80 years of trading, JK Wilkinson opened the first store, situated on Charnwood Street, Leicester, in 1930. The company's portfolio has expanded significantly over the eight decades that have followed, and there are currently 368 stores across the UK, including 10 in Scotland.
Serving over 178 million customers each year, and selling over 25,000 product lines, including health & beauty, gardening equipment, cleaning products and homewares both in store and online at WilkinsonPlus, Wilkinsons is dedicated to providing its customers with high quality products, choice and first class, friendly service.
Wilkinsons is committed to Britain's high streets and prides itself on being a community focused retailer, actively supporting of local charities, community groups and care organisations, as well as its national charity of the year, Age UK.