UK Retailer Wilko Collapses After Failing to Find Emergency Funding; 12,500 Jobs At Risk

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British retailer Wilko said on Thursday it has fallen into administration after failing to secure emergency investment to stay afloat.

The development puts the jobs of as many as 12,500 workers across 400 Wilko stores at risk, though the company has assured the stores will remain open for now and the employees will continue to be paid their salaries.

Wilko collapse Reuters

'Company can be Potentially Recapitalized'

Wilko's CEO Mark Jackson, the decision to enter into management was a difficult one, adding that his team had "left no stone unturned" in its efforts to save the company. "But we must concede that with regret, we've no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration," Jackson said, according to BBC.

The CEO said the company has received a significant level of interest from investors and there is a potential for the company to be recapitalized. However, he added that the decision to seek protection was taken as there was no "surety of being able to complete the deal within the necessary time frame." Given the company's cash position it was left with no choice but to take the unfortunate action, the CEO added.

PwC Named Administrator

Wilko, which was founded in 1930, sells homeware and household goods at a discount. The family-owned enterprise has an annual turnover of $1.53 billion (1.2 billion pounds).

PwC has been named the administrator for Wilko. It said though the stores would continue to trade and there won't be immediate redundancies, the situation can change in the days to come. "If buyers for some or all of the group are not found, it is likely that store closures and redundancies will follow," PwC said, according to Reuters.