The Range has agreed on a multi-million-pound deal to buy the Wilko brand after talks with the collapsed retailer’s administrators, it has been reported.
The move, which is said to be announced by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) later today, means the brand will not disappear from the high street but instead be seen in The Range’s stores.
It comes just a few days after Poundland owner Pepco said it will buy up to 71 Wilko stores, following a series of failed deals, it’s been announced.
Pepco has announced the ex-Wilko branches will be rebranded as Poundland stores, and hope to reopen the closed branches by the end of 2023.
Rival bargain chain B&M has also agreed to buy 51 of Wilko’s buildings in a £13m deal, which will also not be operating under the WIlko brand.
Just yesterday it was announced that more than 9,000 more people are set to be made redundant after attempts to reach a rescue deal had failed.
Administrators said a further 9,100 people will be made redundant by early October.
A rescue deal that could have saved 300 branches under Doug Putman, the billionaire owner of HMV, fell through yesterday.
Earlier today in Westminster the Prime Minister has pledged full support for those impacted by Wilko’s collapse and its resulting lay-offs.
The retailer, founded in Leicester in 1930, plunged into administration last month after struggling with losses.
Earlier this week, administrators confirmed all Wilko’s remaining shop, warehouse and support centre workers are set to lose their jobs after failing to secure a rescue deal.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Clarke-Smith said: ‘This week we were hit by the devastating news that all Wilko stores would be closing, meaning the loss of 12,500 jobs.
‘Bassetlaw and Worksop are the home of Wilko’s HQ and a distribution centre, with 1,500 jobs set to go.’
After arguing that ‘Wilko has been mismanaged for years’, he added: ‘Can the Prime Minister reassure my constituents and all those nationally affected by the demise of Wilko that he and the Government will do everything in their power to help support people into jobs and make sure their redundancies and pensions are protected, and that we will take whatever action is available to us to hold the ownership to account?’
The PM replied: ‘As he knows, some of the topics that he raised will be commercial matters for the company.
‘I do know that this is a concerning time for workers at Wilko. The Business Secretary is keeping close to developments and we have already started supporting those who have been made redundant, and we stand ready to support others to the fullest of our abilities.’
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