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B&M & Poundland to buy up Wilko stores
Today, Pepco Group, the owner of Poundland, has announced they will be taking over 71 Wilko shops across the UK. The leases will be taken over, and the stores will be converted into Poundland stores.
Barry Williams, Managing Director at Poundland, has suggested current staff at the doomed Wilko will have first priority when filling vacancies in the new shops.
Last week, retail giant B&M has agreed to buy 51 stores from Wilko administrators – for a whopping £13 million. A previous bid from M2 Capital – who previously bought HMV stores – fell through last week, leaving many worried. It’s believed this deal – to buy up to 300 of the spaces – collapsed due to Wilko’s debts to suppliers.
However, now retail park favourite B&M has announced they will be taking over more than 50 stores across the UK, with more details on opening dates to come alongside B&M’s half-year financial results this November.
B&M currently runs a staggering 1,150 stores across the UK and in France, and the purchased Wilko stores are expected to rebrand as B&M.
Currently, it is unknown what will happen to the remaining few Wilko stores. HMV owner Doug Putman is still in talks to take over some stores, however there is an anxious wait for thousands of Wilko employees currently facing redundancy. When the firm announced administration back in August, it employed over 12,500 people.
Just last week, almost 270 employees at the Wilko support centre lost their jobs in the company’s head offices.
It is still unknown which Wilko stores have been bought by B&M, and the locations are being kept under wraps. There is also much discussion being had about the location of the current stores. Wilko stores tend to be in town and city centres – beneficial for those without cars. However, most B&M stores are just out of these locations, in retail parks. So, will B&M create a new, inner-city mode of retail for themselves?
The sale of the 51 Wilko stores is believed to be enough to settle some of the current debt held by the business and will also be able to pay for staff wages and other business costs.
Here at MoneyMagpie, we will keep you in the loop with all the latest updates on this huge deal. As the discount giants B&M and Poundland take over a chunk of the Wilko stores, will other competitors step forward to snap up these locations?