POUNDLAND has taken over dozens of Wilko stores in a new deal.
Discount has agreed to buy up to 71 stores, administrators announced.
Poundland has taken over dozens of Wilko stores in a new dealCredit: PA
An agreement was reached today with Poundland owner Pepco with a view to opening the site as a Poundland store.
The new stores will open their doors before the end of the year, and the leases will be finalized in the fall.
The 71 sites will add to Poundland’s 800 UK stores, which include a mix of high street stores and retail stores.
Workers at Wilko stores will not be directly relocated as part of the move, but Poundland said it would “prioritise” existing Wilko workers for roles when the stores open.
Poundland director Barry Williams said: “Over the coming weeks we will be working quickly with landlords to enable us to open these stores as Poundlands with the new range which has been key to our recent growth.
“And once that process is complete, we will ensure that a significant number of Wilko colleagues join our Poundland team.”
He added that the retailer acknowledges the last few weeks have been difficult for staff and will “move quickly” to secure rent from landlords.
Today’s news comes after a £13m deal with B&M was announced last week, with the chain agreeing to buy up to 51 stores.
Edward Williams, joint administrator, said: “In addition to the previously announced agreement with B&M, we are confident that this sale will create a platform for future employment opportunities, including current wilko team members across up to 122 locations.
“We will continue to work with other retailers on any interest in other Wilk’s locations and are confident that we will complete the sale of the brand and intellectual property in the coming days.”
All Wilko stores are to close for good, administrators PwC announced yesterday, after a major deal which would have saved stores and jobs collapsed in a major blow to the high street.
Wilko stores will disappear from the high street at the beginning of October.
Poundland and B&M will reopen the stores they bought under their own names.
The first 52 closures began today, and by the end of the day 24 stores were closed for good.
An additional 28 locations will close on Thursday this week, resulting in over 1,000 redundancies.
A further 124 stores will close next week in three rounds of closures on Sunday 17, Tuesday 19 and 21 September.
Administrators reported yesterday that deadlines for the remaining 222 closures will be announced in due course.
All of the stores are expected to close in the coming weeks, putting a further 9,100 employees out of a job at those stores.
Wilk’s warehouses in Worksop and Newport are also due to close on September 15 and most of the remaining 886 employees will be made redundant on that date.
It comes after HMV owner Doug Putman failed to close a deal to buy around 200 stores.
The Sun exclusively revealed that negotiations between PwC and Mr Putman had broken down.
The Canadian entrepreneur was Wilk’s last chance for survival, but rising running costs dashed any hope of salvation.
The Wilko name could live on as rival discounter The Range is in talks to take over the brand.
It is understood the deal would not include store locations, but the Wilko name could be used online or for certain products, although details are still being finalised.
Which Wilko stores has Poundland bought?
Here is the full list of Wilko stores bought by Poundland:
- Bishop Stortford
- Edmonton Green
- Ellesmere Port
- Hessle Road, Hull
- Lee Circle
- Melton Mowbray
- Pembroke Pier
- Red mountain
- Selly oak
- Shrewsbury Darwin Centre
- South Shields
- West Ealing
The B&M buyout of up to 51 stores does not include staff working at Wilko and they will be rebranded as B&M.
The store locations will be announced alongside B&M’s half-year financial results on November 9.
The first wave of job cuts took place early last week, with a total of 269 support center team member roles axed on the Worksop website.
A further 14 jobs at Kin Limited, a subsidiary of Wilka, were also axed after it also fell into administration.
Wilko first collapsed on August 10 after the struggling retailer failed to find new business support.
The company borrowed £40 million from Hilco in 2022, as well as cutting jobs and restructuring business leadership.
The collapse of Wilko is a “huge blow” to the retail sector and staff, but some experts say the “clock has been ticking” for some time.
In an emotional open letter to his staff, heartbroken chief executive Mark Jackson thanked them for their support during his 90-year stay on Britain’s high street.
Mr Jackson said the company had “left no stone unturned” in its bid to save the chain.
Meanwhile, retail experts have revealed what went wrong with Wilko ahead of store closures this week.
Plus, here’s the full list of 124 stores slated to close next week and 52 that will close their doors in the coming days.
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