British retailer B&M takes over up to 51 stores from bankrupt competitor Wilko

Nearly 350 group stores are expected to close, however. B&M did not say how many of the 12,000 employees will keep their jobs.

British low-cost retailer B&M said on Tuesday it was taking over up to 51 stores from its competitor Bankrupt Wilko and of which some 12,000 employees risk their jobs, without however specifying how many employees will keep their jobs. B&M”concluded (Tuesday) an agreement“with the directors of Wilko to acquire”up to 51of the group’s 400 stores for 13 million pounds (15.2 million euros), announced the buyer in a press release. Contacted by AFP, a spokesperson for B&M could not immediately specify whether the employees of the acquired stores would keep their jobs.

Judicial administrators of PwC, who are managing the bankruptcy, announced on Thursday that nearly 300 employees would be dismissed from Monday at the group’s headquarters and at Kin Limited, a subsidiary of Wilko, after the failure of a global takeover bid for the company. PwC stated that “further layoffs at both distribution centers“, the number of which remains to be confirmed, would be announced at the beginning of the week. Discussions are continuing with other potential buyers who have expressed interest in only parts of the business and all stores are currently open, PwC said on Thursday.

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Towards a partial recovery?

Sky News reported on Tuesday that hopes were dwindling of a successful bid from Doug Putman, the owner of HMV music stores, to take over a majority of stores and employees – but a slimmed-down bid would be still on the table. The British chain Wilko filed for bankruptcy in early August, hit by the cost of living crisis and theUK inflationand until then had 400 stores and 12,500 employees.

The red and white logo sign had started as a hardware store in the 1930s in central Leicester before quickly spreading across the UK, expanding its product range which now ranges from interior decoration to household products among others.

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