B&M agrees to buy up to 51 Wilko stores from administrators for £13million

B&M agrees to buy up to 51 Wilko stores from administrators for £13million

Bargain retailer B&M has agreed to buy up to 51 of failing Wilko’s stores from administrators for £13million, after a bid to purchase the entirety of the collapsed high street retailer fell through last week.

Yesterday the first round of potentially thousands of Wilko layoffs were said to have begun yesterday, as staff at offices and warehouses were told they would lose their jobs. 

‘The consideration is fully funded from existing cash reserves and the acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances’, B&M said in an update to investors.

It said an update on the timing of the new store openings will be provided alongside its half-year financial results on November 9.

Wilko, which started out life as a single hardware store in Leicester in 1930, collapsed into administration on August 11, putting 12,500 jobs at risk, after its business was hit by rising costs and lackluster sales. 

Whether or not the company’s roster of stores will be saved has been a hot topic, with HMV tycoon Doug Putman previously thought to be leading a bid to buy up the discount stores. 

Some of the Wilko stores set to close include Bournemouth, Woolwich, Merthyr Tydfil and The Fort in Birmingham. 

The GMB union said last week it had asked for redundancies to start with volunteers.

Administrators were in talks with a group of potential rescuers led by Mr Putman, the Canadian businessman who took over HMV in 2019.