Wilko store in Rugby could yet be saved from the axe - The Rugby Observer

Wilko store in Rugby could yet be saved from the axe

Rugby Editorial 7th Sep, 2023   0

WILKO in Rugby could yet be saved from the axe.

The store in Rugby Central Shopping Centre was not among 52 branches which the company’s administrators announced on Wednesday (September 6) would close next week after failing to secure a rescue deal for the whole business.

The list was published a day after B&M Bargains announced it had entered into an agreement to buy 51 other Wilko stores – the locations of which have not yet been revealed due to confidentiality – in a deal worth up to £13million.

A spokesperson for administrators Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) said: “The joint administrators of the companies have entered into an agreement to provide B&M with the option to acquire up to 51 properties, after the administration trading period concludes at those sites.”

PwC said it remains in talks with parties interested in buying the remaining parts of the business – adding that further store closures may be necessary depending on talks with remaining suitors.

It is understood that HMV owner Doug Putman is still in discussions with PwC over a possible deal to save a ‘significant number’ of stores.

Wilko, which employs around 12,500 staff, has just under 100 stores across the Midlands and a total of 400 stores across the UK.

The firm, founded in 1930, has been hit by ‘incredibly challenging trading conditions’ says PwC, both throughout the pandemic and more recently through the impact of the cost of living crisis.

The raft of closures next week will lead to 1,016 redundancies, while the company has also announced hundreds of further job losses affecting warehouse and service centre staff.

Wilko’s branches at Rugby Central, Coventry’s Cathedral Lane Shopping Centre and Cannon Park, and Leamington’s Royal Priors remain open for the time being.

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