Budget retailer Wilko has collapsed into administration, putting as many as 12,000 jobs at risk after it failed to agree to a rescue deal
Administrators from PwC are expected to continue to seek a buyer for at least part of the business after their appointment after talks with potential investors failed to secure extra funds.
Wilko, which has about 400 stores across the UK, is the largest retailer to collapse since the convenience-store McColl’s, which employed 16,000 people, last year.
Mark Jackson, CEO at Wilko, said: ‘Over the past six months Wilko has been very open that we’ve been considering options to accelerate a turnaround plan given that we needed to make significant changes to the way we operate to restore confidence and stabilise our business.
‘We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.
The family-owned household and garden products retailer was founded in 1930 in Leicester and grew to a total of 400 stores.
In January, Wilko secured £40m from the restructuring specialist Hilco after it faced a cash squeeze after reporting a £36.8m loss.
The retailer reported a £36.8m pre-tax loss at the end of January 2022, down from £2.5m profit in 2021, after a 3% fall in sales to £1.3bn. This was mostly due to the effects of lockdowns, supply chain disruption and a drop in consumer confidence.
The granddaughter of the company’s founder, Lisa Wilkinson, also stepped down as chair and was replaced by the former Bensons for Beds chair Chris Howell.