A deal by administrators with Pepco Group, and one already reached with B&M, could save the jobs of staff at 122 Wilko stores.
Yesterday it was announced that all Wilko stores would be shut by early October after an offer to buy hundreds of stores by HMV owner Doug Putman fell through.
Budget chain Wilko officially went into administration on August 10. The firm has stores in Ramsgate and Westwood Cross. The Westwood store is scheduled to shut today (September 12).
Some 400 stores and 12,500 jobs have been put at risk.
In an update to member yesterday (September 11) the GMB said: “We are incredibly sorry to have to share the devastating news that (administrators) PWC have confirmed the previous offer being explored for the sale of hundreds of stores as a going concern has fallen through.
“There is now no prospect of saving the remaining store estate in its entirety and all Wilko stores will close by early October with distribution centres to close on Friday, 15th September.”
However joint administrators PwC have today announced that they have entered into an agreement to provide Pepco Group with the option to acquire up to 71 sites to be opened as Poundland stores, after the administration trading period concludes at those sites.
Edward Williams, joint administrator, said: “Alongside the previously announced agreement with B&M, we’re confident this sale will create a platform for future employment opportunities for people including current Wilko team members at up to 122 locations.
“We will continue to engage with other retailers around any interest in other Wilko sites and are confident of completing a sale of the brand and intellectual property within the coming days.”
The 71 stores included in the agreement with Pepco and 51 stores included in the agreement with B&M currently employ more than 3,200 wilko team members in total.
The Pepco deal does not include either of the Thanet sites. The sites B&M plan to take on have not yet been made public.
List of 71 stores per agreement reached with Pepco;
Aberdare, Alfreton, Alnwick, Altrincham, Ammanford, Ashby, Barking, Bedminster, Beeston, Bicester, Bishop Stortford, Bletchley, Bolton, Brentwood, Brigg, Cambridge, Chepstow, Coalville, Cramlington, Droitwich, Eccles, Edmonton Green, Ellesmere Port, Ferndown, Gateshead, Grays, Greenock, Grimsby, Havant, Hayes, Headingley, Hessle Road – Hull, Hillsborough, Hitchin, Jarrow, Killingworth, Kimberley, Lee Circle, Leek, Leigh, Lichfield, Maidenhead, Matlock, Melton Mowbray, Nelson, Northallerton, Orton, Pembroke Dock, Peterlee, Pontefract, Pontypool, Redhill, Redruth, Ripley, Rugeley, Sale, Seaham, Selly Oak, Shrewsbury Darwin Centre, South Shields, Southport, Stafford, Stamford, Stockport, Thornaby, Wellington, Wembley, West Ealing, Wombwell, Worcester, Worksop.
The sites included in the B&M agreement remain subject to a confidentiality agreement.