UK discount retailer Poundland to buy up to 71 Wilko stores

LONDON (Reuters) – British discount retailer Poundland said on Tuesday it would buy up to 71 Wilko stores and convert the collapsed homeware and household goods chain’s sites into its own brand.

Poundland, which is owned by Warsaw-listed Pepco and has 800 stores in Britain, plans to offer roles to Wilko workers and expects the rebranded stores to open in the fourth quarter of 2023, it added.

Wilko fell into administration last month having failed to secure emergency funding to get through a slowdown in trading.

Its administrators PwC said on Monday all Wilko stores are due to close next month as a buyer could not be found in time and put the job losses from the shutdown at 9,100.

“We will continue to engage with other retailers around any interest in other Wilko sites and are confident of completing a sale of the brand and intellectual property within the coming days,” PwC said.

Separately on Tuesday, Pepco, which also owns the Pepco and Dealz brands in Europe, announced the departure of its CEO Trevor Masters without disclosing a reason for the decision, and cut its annual core profit guidance.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by William James and James Davey)