The Range Nears Deal to Acquire Wilko Brand After High Street Retailer’s Collapse
Following the collapse of high street retailer Wilko, The Range is on the verge of finalizing a deal to acquire the Wilko brand for approximately £5 million. This potential sale could potentially save the Wilko name from disappearing entirely from high streets.
PwC Administrators Seeking Asset Sales
Administrators from PwC have been actively pursuing the sale of Wilko’s assets, including its brand and physical stores, in recent weeks. Their efforts have been in response to the inability to secure a rescue deal for the entire Wilko business. Unfortunately, this process is expected to result in over 10,000 Wilko employees losing their jobs by the next month.
The Range’s Acquisition Plans
The Range, a retailer with 210 stores throughout the UK, is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire the Wilko brand. This acquisition would grant The Range ownership of the Wilko website and potentially allow them to stock some of its products in their own stores.
Rival Retailers Make Acquisitions
Other low-cost retailers such as B&M and the owner of Poundland, Pepco Group, have also made agreements to acquire a number of Wilko stores. Pepco Group has secured a deal for up to 71 stores, which will reopen under the Poundland brand. Existing Wilko employees are expected to be prioritized for roles during the conversion process, likely to be completed by year-end. B&M, on the other hand, is purchasing 51 Wilko shops, with most expected to be rebranded as B&M stores.
Wilko’s History and Financial Challenges
Wilko, originally founded in 1930 by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester, had been a family-owned business employing 12,500 staff and operating 400 shops. However, the company faced financial difficulties due to weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers, ultimately leading to its hiring of administrators last month.