Pepco Group, the fast-growing variety discount retailer which owns the Pepco and Dealz brands in Europe and Poundland in the UK, today announces that it has agreed with the administrators of Wilko stores to take control of up to 71 store leases.
The Wilko stores leases assigned to Poundland Limited are largely in locations in which it has limited presence, complementing its existing estate and allowing the discounter to bring its most extensive ranges to a significant number of new communities.
The lease assignments are expected to be completed in early Autumn, enabling these stores to join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK estate and open in the important fourth calendar quarter of 2023.
On completion, Poundland will prioritise recruitment for roles into these stores with existing Wilko colleagues.
Poundland intends to open these Wilko stores under its own name bringing its fast-growing clothing, homewares, chilled and frozen food ranges to aisles, with its promise of amazing value – positive news for customers and those high streets that faced the loss of an important retailer.
Poundland managing director Barry Williams said, “In the coming weeks we will work quickly with landlords so we can open these stores as Poundlands with the new ranges that have been pivotal to our recent development.
“And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team.
“We know how valued Wilko colleagues have been in scores of communities across the UK and we look forward to offering them opportunities to join our family. We recognise the last few weeks have been difficult for them and we will move quickly to secure new consents from landlords so we can offer them the certainty they deserve.
“The Wilko stores will accelerate our existing transformation programme, offering amazing value for consumers, providing growth opportunities for suppliers and supporting employment in the high streets, shopping centres and retail parks customers love.”
Andy Bond, executive chairman of Pepco Group, said: “The agreement to assign a number of Wilko store leases to Pepco Group will help to bring Poundland’s value and wide offer to even more customers in the UK. It will be pleasing to offer employment to a number of Wilko’s colleagues – who will benefit from being part of a successful and fast-growing pan-European variety discount group.
“Pepco Group is well placed for future success across Europe, supported by its market-leading customer proposition, strong balance sheet and impressive cash flow. The Group’s strategy to become a bigger, better, cheaper and simpler business will enable it to continue to provide families on a budget with great range, value and convenience for many years to come.”
As part of Pepco Group, over the last five years Poundland has been undertaking a range revolution in its stores, adding whole new categories such as clothing, homewares, and chilled and frozen food giving customers an alternative to supermarkets.
More than 500 Poundland stores now offer a full clothing range and over 450 extended chilled and/or frozen food. It continues to revamp stores so they can accommodate these wider ranges as Poundland brings more of the items that customers buy week-in, week-out.
In September alone, Poundland will open or relocate new stores in Torquay, Ipswich, Selby, Pontefract, Cardiff, Teignmouth, Dartmouth and Ryde.