List of Wilko stores to close as retailer confirms plans to shut 14 shops imminently
Bosses at retailer Wilko have warned the business is at risk of collapse.
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Wilko has confirmed 14 stores will close just days after the retailer announced it was on the edge of entering administration. The retailer, which has been on the British high street since 1930, made the announcement after deciding to file its "notice of intention" to the high court.
As a result, 12,500 Wilko jobs have been put at risk. But the chain hopes some stores could be saved after it was revealed there are "significant levels of interest”.
In a statement Wilko chief executive Mark Jackson said he will continue to push the interested parties to "move as fast as possible."
He said: "We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business and will encourage those interested parties we’re in discussions with to move as fast as possible."
However, reports from The Times show buyers looking to invest in the retailer will have to pump a staggering £70 million into the company to save it from collapse. So far, a rival discount chain and two private equity firms have been named as potential buyers for a deal which would involve slashing rents at Wilko’s 400 shops through a company voluntary arrangement.
The Times reports any buyer would need to pump in £25 million to £30million to get supplies moving into Wilkos shops again, and an additional £40 million is needed to pay off onerous debt owed to Hilco.
Earlier this year Wilko announced it would be closing children’s toy departments to focus on home and garden collections.
However, it was also thought that Wilko faced financial difficulties during the pandemic and called in advisers from Teneo, a management consulting company to explore cost-cutting and restructuring options in October 2022.
List of Wilko stores to close
So far, 14 Wilko stores have been confirmed for imminent closure:
- The Fort Birmingham
- Narborough Road, Leicester
- Merthyr Tydfil