Thousands of staff at low-cost retailer Wilko Ltd. are set to be told this morning that the chain has collapsed.
(Bloomberg) — Thousands of staff at low-cost retailer Wilko Ltd. are set to be told this morning that the chain has collapsed.
The UK company, which is privately owned and has about 400 stores, is due to enter insolvency proceedings as soon as Thursday morning unless an unexpected last-minute buyer emerges, according to people familiar with the situation.
Wilko previously appointed advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to find new funding but potential buyers withdrew their interest in recent days. It has roughly 12,000 staff.
The low-cost chain, which sells everything from stationery to hardware, warned it was at risk of insolvency on Aug. 3 due to “mounting cash pressures.” Mark Jackson, chief executive officer, said at the time that Wilko lacked an offer that “provides the necessary liquidity.”
It secured a £40 million ($51 million) lifeline from Hilco UK — the owner of Homebase — at the beginning of this year, citing supply chain disruptions and a sharp drop in footfall.
Wilko becomes the latest UK retailer to be hit by the pandemic and Britain’s subsequent cost of living crisis. Fashion and homeware business Cath Kidston, online furniture brand Made.com, fashion chains Joules and M&Co all entered insolvency over the past year.
A spokesperson for Wilko declined to comment.
–With assistance from Katie Linsell.
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