Deadline Reported For Bids For Wilko As The Future For 12,000 Staff Hangs In The Balance

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  • Wilko’s administrator PWC is reported to have set a mid-week deadline for offers.
  • The future of 12,000 staff is highly uncertain as rival chains and private equity consider bids.
  • Wilko’s strong brand likely to survive but vast store footprint may disappear.

Wilko’s Future Hands In The Balace

The clock is believed to have been set ticking towards a deadline for offers for Wilko to be tabled. PWC, the administrator, is reported to be seeking bids by the middle of this week. The future of 12,000 staff is increasingly precarious as the future of the company hangs in the balance.

Other value retailers and private equity investors are believed to be among potential interested parties. However, the likelihood of a full takeover is considered to be slim, given how Wilko’s sprawling store estate in high street locations has added to its pile of problems of supply chain snarl ups and inflationary pressures.

Rival discounters had also focused on more popular retail park sites and had diversified product ranges more into food, which has added extra resilience with consumers seeking out grocery bargains amid the cost of living crisis. Wilko had stayed steadfastly focused on home and garden ware and consumer goods with only limited snack ranges.

Ultimately the fierce headwinds of inflation and thunderous supply chain challenges proved to be the storm which it has been impossible to recover from. The Wilko brand still has a strong hold over value shoppers’ hearts and is likely to continue in some form, but its vast footprint of stores will shrink rapidly and risks disappearing from the high streets altogether.

Article by Susanah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown