Some 12,000 jobs at risk as UK retail chain Wilko on brink of collapse

High street retailer Wilko has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators – putting around 12,000 jobs at risk.

The discount homeware and hardware chain said in a statement that while it had received indicative offers to help recapitalise, none of them were able to provide sufficient liquidity in the time needed – meaning it was set to call in administrators.

Wilko, which has around 400 stores across the UK, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators at the High Court on Thursday.

“We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business,” Wilko chief executive Mark Jackson said.

“We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.”

The retailer has emerged as one of the first major victims of Britain’s tougher economy, after consecutive interest rates rises that started in December 2021.

Despite the squeeze on household incomes from the jump in interest rates and high levels of inflation, most high street chains have been able to keep trading well so far this year.

The development comes after it emerged the specialist retailer investor which owns Homebase had been pouring millions of pounds of funding into Wilko to help salvage its future.

Sky News learnt in July that Hilco had agreed to amend the terms of a credit facility to bolster the availability of financing to Wilko as the general merchandise chain faced an intensifying cash squeeze.

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