Wilko: 12,000 jobs at risk as UK retail chain on brink of collapse
The discount chain said it had received indicative offers to help recapitalise but none of them were able to provide sufficient liquidity in the time needed.
Thursday 3 August 2023 19:12, UK
High street retailer Wilko has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators - putting around 12,000 jobs at risk.
The discount homeware and hardware chain said in a statement that while it had received indicative offers to help recapitalise, none of them were able to provide sufficient liquidity in the time needed - meaning it was set to call in administrators.
Wilko, which has around 400 stores across the UK, filed a notice of intention at the High Court on Thursday to appoint administrators.
"We'll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business," chief executive Mark Jackson said.
"We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist."
The retailer has emerged as one of the first major victims of Britain's tougher economy, after consecutive interest rate rises that started in December 2021.
Read more from business:Interest rate increased to 5.25%Next beats forecasts againMost work done by women is 'unpaid'
Despite the squeeze on household incomes from the jump in interest rates and high levels of inflation, most high street chains have been able to keep trading well so far this year.
The national secretary of the GMB union, Andy Prendergast, said: "This is extremely concerning but we remain hopeful that a buyer can be found.
"Wilko's staff deserve reassurance that their jobs are safe. We hope this is the number one priority going forward."
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The development comes after Sky News revealed last month that the chain was trying to secure a cash injection as it prepared to launch a financial restructuring aimed at securing its future.
Advisers to Wilko also began sounding out potential buyers as it explored a possible change in ownership.
Sky News then learnt that specialist retail investor Hilco had agreed to amend the terms of a credit facility to bolster the availability of financing to Wilko.consecutive interest rate risesRead more from business:Interest rate increased to 5.25%Next beats forecasts againMost work done by women is 'unpaid'was trying to secure a cash injection as it prepared to launch a financial restructuringsounding out potential buyers as it explored a possible change in ownershipHilco had agreed to amend the terms of a credit facility to bolster the availability of financing to Wilko