High street brand B&M has agreed to take on dozens of Wilko stores, as discussions over a more extensive rescue deal continue. B&M will purchase 51 Wilko sites from administrators in a £13m deal, it was announced today (September 5).
However, a wider deal to rescue the business appears to be on the rocks due to issues with suppliers. Doug Putman, the Canadian businessman who saved HMV, had provisionally secured financing from Gordon Brothers for a 300 store acquisition.
That deal now seems to be under threat.
According to Sky News, insiders at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Wilko’s administrator, said that Mr Putman remained in contact with the firm about a less extensive deal, but they added that there were no guarantees it would come to anything.
The homeware brand fell into administration in August after it was hit by sharp losses and cash flow issues.
So far, 283 jobs have been lost, mainly from its Worksop support centre. However if there are mass store closures, then thousands of jobs may go.
Wilko, which has its headquarters in Worksop, was found in 1930 and has been an regular fixture on UK high streets up and down the country.
In the 1990s the chain had become a firm favourite among British shoppers, however in recent years it has come under pressure from discount competitors Poundland, The Range and Home Bargains.