The rollout to over two-thirds of the home and garden retailer’s stores follows a successful pilot at two locations.
The participating stores are primarily those with their own on-street entrance and exit rather than those that are, for example, located in shopping centres, which may not allow any animal guests, or where the entrance isn’t pet friendly.
Signage at store entrances will make it clear if pets are welcome, although customers can also check with the store team if they are at all unsure.
A Wilko spokesperson said: “Furry friends, on their leads if applicable, will be able to browse all areas of the participating stores except for food aisles.
“Most of the pet customers will be either dogs or cats, and these four-legged shoppers are likely to find many products in-store that get their tails wagging.”
However, the move has caused quite a split of opinion among customers.
A number of shoppers are upset by the new policy as the company has not made it mandatory to have leads when bringing pets into the stores.
How have people in Sheffield reacted?
Peter Molloy said: “I think it’s a bad idea. Guide dogs yes, but not ordinary pets because it’s unhygienic. Even though I like cats and dogs, I don’t think they should be allowed in shops like that because they sell food for a start.”
Another person said: “I think it’s a nice idea. I’ve got lots of friends with pets, and to be able to take them into the store would be good.”