Discount retailer B&M swoops in to rescue 51 Wilko stores from brink of closure

5 September 2023, 11:26

B&M has agreed to take on 51 Wilko stores
B&M has agreed to take on 51 Wilko stores. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Discount chain B&M has swooped in to rescue up to 51 Wilko stores from closure.

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B&M agreed to buy the stores for £13 million after a bid to purchase the entirety of Wilko fell through last week.

The high street retailer fell into administration in August after a buyer could not be found, putting its 400 stores and 12,500 jobs in danger.

B&M said in an update to investors: "The consideration is fully funded from existing cash reserves and the acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances."

It said an update on the timing of the new store openings will be provided alongside its half-year financial results on November 9.

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Wilko falls into administration with 12,000 jobs at risk

Money troubles for Wilko, along with many other high street brands, were confirmed in January 2023 when the chain - formerly known as Wilkinson's - confirmed they would be closing a number of stores across the country.

There have been several bids to save the chain since August, including from the owner of HMV.

Doug Putman has been trying to acquire 300 of the 400 stores - saving around 9,000 staff's positions in the process - a source previously told Sky.

"It's still in the balance but it is beginning to look more positive that a deal can get done," the creditor said.

However, administrators at PwC are understood to still be in talks with other rival retailers including Poundland, Home Bargains and The Range.

Poundland's owner Pepco is said to be interested in taking on around 100 stores.

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