Wilko confirms closure of all stores and distribution centres
Administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have confirmed plans to close all 346 Wilko stores and both of its distribution centres in the coming months.
124 stores will close by 21 September, with an announcement regarding the closure of all remaining stores to be announced in “due course”.
Operations at Wilko’s two distribution centres in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and Newport, Wales are set to shut down on 15 September. Following the announcement of 299 redundancies across Wilko’s distribution centres last week, PwC has now said that “the majority of the remaining 886 distribution centre employees” will be made redundant as the facilities close.
On 4 September, 269 members of staff at Wilko’s support centre in Worksop were made redundant. According to PwC, “further redundancies of the remaining 210 support centre employees will take place during September and early October as operations wind down.”
Joint Administrator Zelf Hussain commented: “Despite the significant and intensive efforts of both ourselves and Putman Investments – the remaining party interested in buying a significant part of the business as a going concern – a transaction could not be progressed due to the inability to reduce central infrastructure costs quickly enough to make a deal commercially viable.”
“The dedication shown by all team members during this period has been hugely humbling and we are grateful for the patience and understanding they have shown. As with those who have already been given notice of redundancy, we will guide and support those team members impacted over the coming weeks through the redundancy claims process.
“We also continue to collaborate closely with relevant agencies and engage with any potential employers to help facilitate a quick return into new employment for those impacted.”
Those made redundant are set to receive support from PwC’s “dedicated employee team”, with the firm explaining that administrators are liaising with the government, agencies, unions, and large employers in an effort to secure employment for Wilko staff as soon as possible.
Offering an update on the status of the business, Hussain added: “We continue to work with potential buyers for different parts of the business and are confident of completing transactions in the coming days.”
UPDATE (12 September 2023): Pepco Group has this afternoon agreed to acquire “up to 71 sites to be opened as Poundland stores”, PwC confirmed.
Joint Administrator Edward Williams said: “Alongside the previously announced agreement with B&M, we’re confident this sale will create a platform for future employment opportunities for people including current Wilko team members at up to 122 locations.
“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.”