A deal to bail out bankrupt British discount chain Wilco has failed, leaving the future of more than 10,000 workers uncertain, the auctioneer said on Monday.
The deal offered by HMV owner Doug Putman was to keep 300 Wilco stores open, but his bid collapsed as rising costs needed to restructure Wilco complicated the deal.
The British chain filed for bankruptcy in early August under the impact of a cost-of-living and inflation crisis. By then there were 400 stores and 12,500 employees.
“It is with great disappointment that we are no longer able to proceed with the procurement process Wilco“After weeks of working with executives and suppliers, he found a viable way to save the company,” Mr Putman told The Sun newspaper.
“We were unable to provide a stable foundation in the way we wanted to guarantee the long-term success of the company and its employees,” he added.
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Last week, rival retailer B&M announced it would buy up to 51 of Wilko’s 400 stores. However, the fate of 300 other stores remains uncertain.
PwC, which has filed for bankruptcy, is expected to announce details of job cuts and store closings in the coming days. Its executives had already said about 1,016 people would be out of a job at the 52 stores that would be closing nationwide.
There have already been 300 redundancies at the two Workshop and Newport fulfillment centres, while more than 260 have been made at the help desk.
The brand began as a hardware store in Leicester (central England) in the 1930s, before expanding rapidly across the UK, expanding the range of products on sale.
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