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Wilko collapses into Administration with 12,000 jobs at risk

29th September, 2023
Robert Moore

Written ByRobert Moore

Marketing Manager


Rob has over a decade of experience in web and general marketing. He has extensive knowledge of the Insolvency sector and has helped many worried directors with their questions.

Rob is now working with the Board at KSA Group Ltd to develop strategic marketing programmes to support the business plan and drive more company rescues.

Robert Moore

29 September 2023

Sky News share today that after seeing some proposals from PwC, it is likely that unsecured creditors will receive between 4p and 8p in the pound, from the collapse of Wilko.

According to the proposals, The Pension Protection Fund (£20m owed as a secured creditor), along with Barclays (£2.4m owed) and Hilco UK (£39.9m owed) are expected to be paid in full. The PPF is also owed monies as a unsecured creditor,

13th September 2023

The Range has purchased Wilko’s brand and online assets for a total of £5m it is understood. An announcement is expected by the administrators later.  The Range was under pressure to buy the assets as it faced increased competition from online marketplace OnBuy.

12th September 2023

The owner of Poundland has agreed to take on the leases of dozens of Wilko shops.

Pepco Group, which owns Poundland in the UK, is expected to convert up to 71 Wilko stores to the Poundland brand.

11th September 2023

Today we here the news that the rescue deal on the cards with HMV owner, Doug Putman, has collapsed. It is expected that now administrators of PwC will strike deals with The Range and Poundland’s owner.

The Range is likely to purchase Wilko’s brand and online assets, whereas Poundland are in talks to buy 100 stores.

5th September 2023

B&M has bought 51 Wilko shops (locations not disclosed) for £13 million after the discount retailer collapsed into administration.

The shops are set to be rebranded as B&M.  The retailer did not acquire Wilko’s brand name or any of its intellectual property. It said it would provide an update on the timing of the new B&M openings in November.

Despite this arrangement with B&M, a further 1,332 jobs have been lost. Across 52 Wilko stores, 1,016 redundancies will take place, alongside a loss of 299 roles at two of its distribution centres and 17 at its digital operations department.

Conversations with administrators continue.

Sky News report more.

31st August 2023

The latest update to be heard on the situation with Wilko is that OnBuy, the online marketplace, has made a last minute rescue bid for the brand. As reported in the Retail Gazette, it is thought that OnBuy only want to continue trading through

Just earlier on today, it was revealed that a proposed £90m deal from private equity firm, M2 Capital, claiming to retain all employees’ roles for two years, whilst it saved Wilko from collapse, had fallen through. The bidder was unable to file the relevant paperwork in time which meant the inability to provide proof of funding.

Following this, redundancies will shortly commence, with:

  • 269 employees at the retailer’s support centre (Worksop) to be made redundant from close of play 4th September
  • 14 employees at Kin Limited to be made redundant from close of play 4th September – this is a subsidiary of Wilko
  • For the two distribution stores in Worksop and Newport, redundancies expected to be announced from next week

Joint administrator Jane Steer said: “It’s with great sadness that we announce these redundancies. We’re incredibly grateful to these team members for the support and dedication they’ve shown to the company, particularly over the last few very difficult weeks. We will continue to do all that we can to support staff through this period of difficult upheaval, and to maximise their opportunities for a rapid return to work. Our priority is to ensure that all team members affected by redundancy are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect. We will be circulating correspondence to all staff as soon as possible which will outline the support available to complete redundancy payment forms. Advice and assistance will also be available from Job Centre Plus and other agencies.”

With this in mind, talks are underway still with HMV owner, Doug Putman and PwC.

28th August 2023

The latest on Wilko x Administration threat is that Doug Poutman, HMV owner, is in discussion with PwC about offering a finance offer for hundreds of Wilko stores. He seeks a £50m backing to do so. If this falls unsuccessful, a deal with Poundland is likely to go ahead.

24th August 2023

We hear an update today from the administrators of Wilko. They share that jobs are set to go and stores will close as no buyer has been found for the business as a whole. This being said, some parts of the group could be bought.

In a statement, PwC said: “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.”

23rd August 2023

Rumours share that Poundland owner,  Pepco Group is in talks with PwC to acquire around 100 Wilko stores. Alongside this, B&M European Value Retail are supposedly negotiating over 40-50 stores. There are then various other value retailers, like TOFS, of whom have lodged offers to acquire smaller parts of Wilko’s 400 store strong chain.

A more official announcement is expected tomorrow on at least some of the sale agreements.

Even with such agreements, there still remains risk of some site closures and job losses.

Let’s see what is to come…

18th August 2023

The deadline for interested parties to put forward a rescue deal for Wilko has passed. Administrators weigh up rescue bids. In the meantime,  a secondary sale begins, with discounts on hundreds of products in store.

It has been heard that B&M, Poundland, The Range and Home Bargains – all competitors of the homeware retailer, have had interest to submit an offer.

Whilst PwC are working on this case, no redundancies have been made. Only time will continue to tell the chains future.

14th August 2023

Companies vying to buy Wilko have been given until Wednesday 16th August to make an offer for the homewares chain which fell into administration last week.

10th August 2023

High Street home wear retail chain, Wilko, has collapsed into administration appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as administrators. This leaves 12,000 jobs at risk, as well as the future of many of its 400 stores.

With the appointment of PwC, it triggers administrators to run a further administration sale, to see if there are any last minute rescue offers. However, should this not be successful, the 93-year-old chain will close and have its assets sold – making Wilko the biggest casualty of the High Street this year.  If you are an employee, worried about what this means for you, read our guide.

Further updates to follow.

9th August 2023

Wilko has suspended all home deliveries, suggesting a fall into administration is inevitable. Talks with buyers have been underway, but it is thought nothing much will come from them, with the latest updates.

8th August 2023
The owner of the Laura Ashley brand, Gordon Brothers, is in talks about a potential rescue deal for Wilko. Insiders say the offer may involve Gordon Brothers providing funding to the retailer to implement a restructuring which would involve a key amount of stores closing and jobs lost.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is advising Wilkos’, is understood to be seeking binding offers within days, with the company close to running out of cash. Should PwC be appointed as administrator, a further sale process will proceed before embarking on a liquidation of the retailers assets, if no rescue deal comes through.

3rd August 2023

News today is that Wilko is teetering on the brink of administration, with 12,000 jobs at risk.

Despite offers from potential buyers, the needed liquidity to cover the cash pressures being faced, has not been met.

Mark Jackson, CEO of Wilko announced the decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators. In the meantime, discussions will continue with interested parties in the hope of a late-coming rescue. Watch this space!  A notice of intent gives the company 10 days for a rescue deal to be agreed.  If nothing is forthcoming then it is likely that the company will go into formal administration with the loss of thousands of jobs.

27th July 2023

It has been reported that Hilco have put in another £5m into Wilko to help with the current cash flow problems.

19th June 2023

It has reported in the news that landlords of Wilko face the chance of no rental payments for at least the next three years, as a CVA is likely to launch in the next month. The restructuring arrangement looks to cut rents at 240 of its 400 stores, with no stores facing closure.

One source close to the process told The Times, that the retailer will soon run out of funds and could collapse into administration if a CVA is not agreed.

12th June 2023

Wilko has brought in CBRE property advisors to open negotiations with landlords on rent reductions.

According to the latest news, Wilko is exploring a Company Voluntary Arrangement, in order to renegotiate rents and potentially close some stores, as part of its cost-cutting plans.

PwC advisors are said to have been approached, to look into the various restructuring options possible.

Chief executive Mark Jackson remarked: “We’re in the early stages of the turnaround and, as is usual, the directors continue to explore all options for Wilko’s long-term future.”

16th February 2023

Wilko has announced plans to cut more than 400 jobs, including assistant store managers, retail supervisors, head office managers and call centre workers, in the troubled retailer’s latest effort to control costs.

4th January 2023

It has been reported that Hilco, the retail turnaround fund, has lent £40m to Wilko to secure its long term future.

Wilko has said that it has received a £30m emergency loan to see it through the Christmas trading period. It has already sold its distribution centre for £48m and leased it back. Hopefully this will be enough.

In a statement Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO comments:

“Our relationship with our lending partners is solid. The recent sale and leaseback of our distribution centre to DHL earlier this week unlocked £48m which has enabled us to repay our revolving credit facility in full. We’re taking this opportunity, now that the deal is done, to review how we manage our ongoing financing to best trade through the current retail environment while continuing to invest in our future.”

Suppliers to Wilko have had their credit insurance withdrawn according to reports. If true, this is a big blow as that now means that suppliers will be reluctant to grant Wilko any credit, so putting serious strain on the retailers finances.

Both Retail Week and Retail Gazette have reported that the restructuring advisors Teneo have been instructed by Wilko, the homewares store, to look at how it can turnaround its fortunes. Last month it announced that it was extending its payment terms to 60 days and that anyone due to be paid in September would be paid in November.

These are indications that the company is struggling. So what options does the chain have? It has already closed down 15 stores but if it needs to close down many more, that might be subject to long leases, then a company voluntary arrangement is a good way to do this. High rents may not be the issue here but increased competition and a drop in trade as the cost of living crisis bites.

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