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  • Writer's pictureInchmead

Poundland snaps up 71 Wilko stores

Poundland owner Pepco has agreed to take on up to 71 Wilko stores, with staff working at the sites given priority for jobs once the sale has been completed

Pepco Group, which owns Poundland in the UK, is expected to convert up to 71 Wilko stores to the Poundland brand.

In a statement, the company said that Wilko staff would have priority when applying for new jobs at the Poundland shops.

The budget retailer collapsed last month, putting its 400-plus stores and around 12,500 workers at risk, after talks with potential buyers failed to deliver a rescue deal.

Poundland hopes to complete the rebrand of the Wilko stores in the final three months of this year. Managing director, Barry Williams, said it recognised the last few weeks had been difficult for Wilko workers and said the company will ‘work quickly’ to reopen stores.

Andy Bond, executive chairman of Pepco Group, said: ‘The agreement to assign a number of Wilko store leases to Pepco Group will help to bring Poundland’s value and wide offer to even more customers in the UK. It will be pleasing to offer employment to a number of Wilko’s colleagues - who will benefit from being part of a successful and fast-growing pan-European variety discount group.’

Administrators at PwC said they will continue to engage with retailers around further purchases of other Wilko sites.

It followed confirmation last week that B&M would buy up to 51 stores in a deal worth £13m, but this did not include saving jobs or keeping the shops open as a going concern as the deal was only for the sites that Wilko occupies.

Edward Williams, joint administrator at PwC, 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.’

There are 734 Poundland stores in the UK, with around 18,000 employees.

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