Redundancies confirmed as Wilko rescue bid collapses

Hundreds are set to lose their jobs as a last-minute bid to save retailer Wilko has collapsed, according to reports.

Media reports say administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that 269 roles in the support centre and 14 at a subsidiary would be made redundant.

Further redundancies at the hardware chain’s distribution centres are expected to be announced in the next week.

The Wilko store in King's Lynn
The Wilko store in King’s Lynn

It was a bid by M2 Capital that fell through.

Further bids for other parts of the business have been received and it is reported that administrators will continue to consider these offers in an effort to save jobs and stores.

In a statement made on August 23, Jane Steer, Zelf Hussain and Edward Williams of PwC, joint administrators of Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd, Wilko Ltd and Ltd said: “Since our appointment as administrators of Wilko we have held extensive discussions with parties who expressed an interest in buying all or part of the business. 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.

“We know this will further add to the uncertainty felt by workers. We will be supporting staff through this deeply unsettling time, working closely with the government, JobCentre plus, unions and large employers to maximise possibilities for a rapid return to work for employees in the event of redundancies.

“In the immediate term, all stores remain open, continue to trade and staff continue to be paid. Contrary to speculation, there are currently no plans to close any stores next week.”

Wilko, which has a store in New Conduit Street, Lynn, tumbled into administration two weeks ago, putting the future of its 400 shops and 12,500 staff in doubt.

It is reported that Poundland-owner Pepco Group and B&M European Value Retail were among the bidders.

No store closures have been announced.