WILKO store’s in Leicester are among those which are now welcoming dog’s into their premises – leaving some customers threatening to boycott the retailer.
Wilko announced yesterday that it was set to make make 248 of its stores ‘dog friendly,’ including many of those in and around Leicester.
Posting on their social media, the retailer said: “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 shoppers will enjoy bringing their furry friends along with them.”
However some customers have reacted negatively to the nationwide change, with some even threatening to boycott its stores.
“My daughter is terrified of dogs, we now won’t be visiting Wilkos,” said one customer online.
“I can see this backfiring on Wilko when an incident occurs,” added another.
A third customer said: “As a Guide Dog user, I think this is a rather ill thought out idea.
“It’s hard enough navigating around the shop to begin with, then adding extra distractions of the other animals, it could end in disaster.”
Dog friendly stores close to Leicester include those at Beaumont Leys, Humberstone, Melton Mowbrey and Syston and in the county, Loughborough, Coalville and Ashby.
Responding to concerns, a spokesman for Wilko said that aggressive or disruptive dogs will be asked to leave the store in order to minimise risk.
“We believe putting the onus of responsible pet ownership on customers, coupled with a common-sense approach from our team members, will keep the number of complaints to a minimum,” they said in a statement.
“We’re also asking that customers keep their pets on a lead while instore, make sure their pet is well behaved, avoid bringing them in if they have muddy paws, and to clean up after their pet if they have a toilet mishap.
“Customers are also asked that pets, with the exception of service dogs, are kept away from food aisles. If a pet shows signs of aggression towards other pets or people in the store, the customer who owns the dog will be politely asked to leave the store to minimise risk,” they added.
Other stores in Leicester which have recently become ‘dog friendly’, include John Lewis, Clintons, Paperchase, Levis and Apple, which are all located in the city’s Highcross.