Wilko still has a chance of being saved from collapse as recent reports state that administrators are negotiating with potential suitors, including Poundland, B&M, Primark and Home Bargains.
Offers were made Wednesday (16) evening and they are currently being looked into, The Sun stated in a recent report. Earlier this week, the chain’s administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) set a Wednesday deadline for any interested parties to put in an offer for Wilko. PwC is yet to confirm how many possible bids have been submitted.
Other names emerging from reports who have made bids are Hilco, the Bensons for Beds owner, and Alteri. It is also understood that at least one of the potential bidders is keen to keep the Wilko name.
According to reports, not all Wilko stores would be saved if a rescue deal is accepted as the firm who takes over can choose to only save part of a business once it has entered administration. Interested parties are reported to be offering to save between 40 and 300 Wilko stores.
Wilko collapsed into administration last week after failing to find new funding. The move put 12,500 jobs at risk with 400 stores potentially set to close.
Wilko chief executive officer, Mark Jackson, said that the company had “left no stone unturned” in a bid to save the chain. Earlier this year, it was reported that the owners of the chain were considering a sale of the company in a bid to secure its future.
The GMB union, which represents thousands of workers at Wilko, said it still believed there was a chance of a rescue deal.
The union has accused the firm’s management of allowing the retailer to lose its place in the market by failing to invest in technology for home shopping and other improvements while “much-needed cash was taken out of the business” by the owning Wilkinson family.
“We are seeking clarification regarding pensions, but have concerns. The Wilkinson family took tens of millions from the business in the decade up to the collapse. If they were serious about supporting working people, they should have invested in their staff,” The Guardian reported GMB as saying.