Wilko Stores on the Brink as No Buyer Emerges

Hope that some branches can be saved in piecemeal deals

The Wilko store in Acton is running an administration sale
The Wilko store in Acton is running an administration sale

August 24, 2023

PwC, the firm which is handling the administration of Wilko, has announced that it has failed to find a buyer willing to purchase the whole business.

Hope remains that purchasers will be found for parts of the business on a piecemeal basis, but the risk has increased for the 12,500 staff and 400 stores.

PwC has confirmed that jobs are likely to lost and all of the branches are at risk.

Outlets at Acton, Fulham, Hammersmith, Putney, West Ealing and Wimbledon continue to trade and are likely to do so at least until the end of the month. Staff are being paid and stores are running ‘administration sales’ with some stock deeply discounted.

PwC says in a statement, "While discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business, it's clear that the nature of this interest is not focused on the whole group.

"Sadly, it is therefore likely that there will be redundancies and store closures in the future and it has today been necessary to update employee representatives."

The GMB says that significant job losses are to be expected. The union’s national secretary, Andy Prendergast, said, "We will fight to ensure Wilko bosses are held accountable for the simple reason our members deserve so much better."

The closure of 14 stores was announced as the company went into administration only one of which, Woolwich, was in London. There are 26 other Wilko stores in London.

Wilko’s chief executive Mark Jackson said,“While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.

“We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.”

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