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Tribute to Syston’s Wilko Store Left by Mysterious ‘Knitting Banxy’

Syston’s mysterious ‘Knitting Banxy’ has left a touching tribute outside a Wilko store in her home town, ahead of its final day of trading tomorrow.

The branch, Syston’s Melton Road, will close for the last time tomorrow (Thursday, September 28) alongside dozens of others across the country.

Leicester Time: Tribute to Syston's Wilko Store Left by Mysterious 'Knitting Banxy'
Picture: Syston Knitting Banxy

All 400 stores will close by October 8, following several unsuccessful attempts to save the Leicester-founded brand.

In a bittersweet tribute, Syston Knitting Banxy – also known as SKB – left a wool plaque outside her local Wilko store. It simply reads ‘Wilko, 1930-2023. Thank you’.

Sharing the tribute on social media, she added: “We’re so sorry to see you go. God bless to all the staff who have worked here over the years.”

Followers flocked online to praise the touching gesture and to share their sadness around the loss of the beloved, long standing brand.

“Thanks to all the staff past and present. Syston will never be the same again,” wrote one.

“What a lovely tribute to the end of a yet another long standing business,” added another.

“That’s awesome work. A great gesture SKB they are going to be sadly missed.

“The many times I’ve just ‘nipped to Wilko’s’ and the many times it has saved the day, especially for DIY products….

“Best wishes and thank you to the staff.”

Founded in 1930, Wilko was started as a single store in Leicester by JK Wilkinson. Selling everything from home, DIY, garden and beauty products, to pick and mix sweets, Wilko filled many of the vacant shops left when Woolworths went bust 14 years ago.

But the retailer has struggled over the past decade, with analysts suggesting it has failed to keep up with competition from discount chains like Poundland and B&M.

Poundland have taken over 71 stores nationwide, including Leicester’s Lee Circle branch. Fellow discount retailer B&M also signed a deal to snap up 51 Wilko stores.

However, they will not retain the Wilko name.

The brand’s name, intellectual property and online store were sold to The Range.