Can Wilko be saved? Redundancies paused as last-minute bids come in to rescue retailer

29 August 2023, 15:25 | Updated: 29 August 2023, 15:35

Wilko could be saved from falling into administration
Wilko could be saved from falling into administration. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Wilko has paused redundancies while rescue bids are considered for the chain.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The GMB union, which represents more than 3,000 of Wilko's 12,500 staff, said it met with administrators on Tuesday morning.

The retailer fell into administration earlier in the month, putting all 400 of its stores at risk.

Administrators from PwC have sought offers from interested firms in an effort to save the company.

Several potential bids have been discussed with the union to save the stricken high street chain.

However, there is still a chance that jobs will be cut if no deal is reached.

Read more: Is Wilko closing down? Full list of shop closures

Read more: Wilko launches huge administration sale with thousands of discounted products up for grabs

Wilko falls into administration with 12,000 jobs at risk

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: "All redundancies at Wilko have been suspended while the administrator considers further bids.

"Whilst this is a positive development, Wilko is not out of the woods by any means and this is a time of incredible stress and worry for the 12,500 workers who face losing their jobs."

There have been fresh last-minute bids to potentially buy the retailer in recent weeks.

A bid worth £90 million was made by restructuring specialist M2 Capital, according to the Guardian, which would enable the entire Wilko chain to keep trading.

It comes after Canadian businessman Doug Putman, who bought music retailer HMV in 2019, also lodged a bid to save Wilko stores.

But PwC said Mr Putman’s bid was just “speculation” at this time.

A spokesperson said: “Since our appointment as administrators of Wilko, we have worked relentlessly to secure a sale of the business, and talks are continuing with a number of parties.

“As administrators we’re intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved while preserving as many jobs as possible and adhering to our statutory duty to act in the best interests of the creditors as a whole.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders or interested parties at this stage in the process.”

Rivals Poundland, B&M, The Range and Home Bargains also also understood to have lodged their interest in buying parts of the Wilko business.