Homewares and personal care retailer, Wilko, is facing significant job cuts as 269 support centre staff are expected to be made redundant. Despite the possibility of a business rescue deal, none of the interested parties are willing to acquire the entire company. However, there is hope for a partial rescue as reports indicate that Doug Putman, the owner of HMV, is getting closer to an agreement that could save over 8,000 jobs. Currently, Wilko employs over 12,000 people.

The coming weeks are likely to see more redundancies announced at Wilko’s distribution centres, but the outcome could change if a deal is reached. The possibility of further job losses is disheartening, especially after hopes were raised for a last-minute rescue bid that could save the entire business. Initially, selling off some of Wilko’s stores to interested value retailers seemed like the best option. However, there are now reports suggesting that only the brand itself could be purchased, with OnBuy and The Range expressing interest in such a deal.

If the majority of the 12,000+ jobs were to be lost, Wilko would join the list of the largest retail job losses in Britain’s history. However, there is some optimism as a recent Sky report suggests that Doug Putman could potentially acquire over 300 of the existing 400 stores, thereby salvaging at least two-thirds of the jobs. Although a deal could be announced in the coming days, it is crucial to remain cautious until an agreement is officially signed.

Daily Mail
Retail Gazette