Wilko Files Notice of Intent to Appoint Administrators, Putting 12,000 Jobs at Risk
High street retailer Wilko has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators, putting approximately 12,000 jobs at risk. The discount homeware and hardware chain stated that while it had received indicative offers to help recapitalize, none of them were able to provide sufficient liquidity within the required timeframe. As a result, the company is set to call in administrators.
Wilko, which operates around 400 stores across the UK, filed a notice of intention at the High Court on Thursday to appoint administrators. Chief Executive Mark Jackson expressed the company’s commitment to continuing discussions with interested parties in order to complete a transaction that preserves the business.
“We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilization cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximize the significant opportunities that we know exist,” said Jackson.
Wilko’s struggles come as a consequence of Britain’s tougher economy, following consecutive interest rate rises that began in December 2021. Despite the squeeze on household incomes caused by the increase in interest rates and high levels of inflation, most high street chains have managed to trade well so far this year.
The news has raised concerns among the staff and the GMB union. Andy Prendergast, the national secretary of the GMB union, expressed hope that a buyer can be found and emphasized the importance of job security for Wilko’s employees.
This development follows Sky News’ previous report that Wilko was seeking a cash injection to support its financial restructuring and secure its future. The company’s advisers had also been exploring potential buyers for a possible change in ownership. Specialist retail investor Hilco had agreed to amend the terms of a credit facility to provide additional financing to Wilko.
Wilko’s situation serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by retailers in the current economic climate. The company’s efforts to find a solution and secure its future will be closely watched by industry observers.