Wilko stores of the future

Exploring retail spaces to come – from an employee perspective

“What might the Wilko store of the future look like and how might that inform our recruitment strategy?” That was the brief from Wilko when Linney was invited to present at its HR away day.

The gathering of 50 HR professionals included a morning of pavilion events. Linney was invited to host one of the pavilions with the brief to look at what we could see in retail environments of the future.

Our team of three set up an interactive and immersive experience using a virtual reality kit and screens. To achieve the most life-like experience, we developed three formats as virtual reality stores for the delegates to explore using the VR headset.

The first space was a Wilko Microbrewery: imagine a space where you don’t just buy your home-brew kit, but spend a morning learning from the experts how to brew beer.

The second was a connected home with all its appliances ‘talking’ to each other, challenging how we shop – after visiting a store, face tracking allows you to buy what you browsed earlier when you get home.

The final space was a support lounge. Famous for being the place to go for DIY hardware and homeware, we imagined Wilko had its very own ‘genius’ store, which you can visit or login to – for real-world support.

Everyone at the event had the chance to immerse themselves in each space and the opportunity to discuss what the future of Wilko could look like. It was a chance to look at the retail spaces of the future from the employee perspective, and think about how the skills and qualities retailers recruit for now will evolve.