The budget retailer called administrators on 10 August after rescue talks failed to secure a deal.
Wilko has over 400 stores across the UK and employs 23,000 people. On Wednesday, Workplace360 reported that Gordon Brothers was discussing a rescue bid to save the family-owned retailer. Since news of administrators being called broke, The Guardian has said the most likely buyer is the investment firm Hilco. Gordon Brothers is also thought to still be interested, as well as Alteri and OpCapita. The likes of Primark, Poundland and B&M could also take on some stores.
Wilko’s product range concentrates on household essentials, including stationery. In addition, the Wilko brand accounts for 14,000 SKUs. Other OP brands Stabilo, Pilot, Bic, Zebra, Sharpie, Papermate, HP, Canon, Epson, Wham, Stanley, Pritt, Sellotape and Tipp-Ex are also currently available at Wilko.
The retailer will continue to trade from all stores without any immediate redundancies as discussions with interested parties continue. If buyers for some or all of the group are not found, it is likely that store closures and redundancies will follow, with around 12,000 jobs at risk.
PwC will handle the administration for the chain. Jane Steer, Zelf Hussain and Edward Williams of PwC have been appointed as joint administrators.
Hussain, who is also a PwC Partner, said: “Many high-street retailers are facing a number of well-documented challenges and Wilko has been significantly impacted by the headwinds facing the industry, including inflationary pressure and rising interest rates. As administrators, we will continue to engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business.”