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Deadline to Save Leicester-Born Retailer Set for Tomorrow

Companies interested in buying Wilko have until tomorrow (Wednesday, August 16) to make an offer for the Leicester born homewares chain, which fell into administration last week.

Wilko told its staff last Thursday that it had appointed administrators from PwC to oversee the administration process, after it failed to secure £75m in funding.

Leicester Time: Deadline to Save Leicester-Born Retailer Set for Tomorrow
Picture: Pukaar News

They have set a deadline of Wednesday for interested parties to place a bid for the business, which was set up in Leicester back in 1930.

There are currently 408 stores nation-wide and as many as 12,000 jobs are at risk due to the cash-strapped company’s collapse.

Administrators said Wilko has suffered “increasing cashflow pressure and a deterioration in trading” after sales were impacted by the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

The firm’s chief executive, Mark Jackson, said last week it had been working for the past six months on a turnaround plan “to restore confidence and stabilise the business”.

“We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business,” he said.

However, he conceded “with regret” that there was “no choice” but to put the company into administration.

The deadline has been set as PwC hopes to strike a deal fast that can save both Wilko and its under-threat staff. The administration process means that any bidders for Wilko will not have to take on the company’s debts.

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “It is incredibly sad that a well-loved, family business that has been on the high street for over 90 years has had to go into administration.

“As administrators, we will continue to engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business.”

At the time of writing, all Wilko stores remain open and are trading. Administration sales are currently taking place, with significant discounts on many products.