Wilko name could live on as major rival in talks to buy brand – and another discounter could save 70 stores | The Sun

THE Wilko name could live on despite the collapse of a a deal to save hundreds of stores earlier today.

The Sun exclusively revealed that talks between the retailer's administrators andHMV owner Doug Putman have failed.

It brought to an end hopes that 200 stores would be saved and continue trading on the high street under the Wilko name.

All 400 Wilko stores are now set to disappear from the high street for good by the beginning of October.

This means that redundancy is now likely for all 12,500 Wilko workers.

But the Wilko name could still live on as a major rival is in talks to buy the brand.


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The Range is interested in taking on the Wilko name, but a deal would not include any shop locations, it's understood.

Meanwhile, another discounter could save dozens of stores from closing.

Poundland is thrashing out a deal to take on around 70 locations, sources say, with details still being finalised.

But a deal for any stores would likely see them become Poundlands.

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B&M last week agreed a similar deal to acquire up to 51 stores, but that will not include staff and the locations will be rebranded as B&M.

An agreement between Wilko administrators PwC and The Range could involve acquiring just the intellectual property rather than any bricks and mortar business.

A similar deal was reached when Tesco bought the Paperchase brand after it collapsed into administration in January.

All Paperchase's 106 stores closed for good earlier this year.

But the brand lives on at the supermarket giant which now sells Paperchase branded items in its stores like notebooks and accessories.

The Range is owned by Plymouth-based tycoon Chris Dawson and typically operates from out-of-town retail parks. 

It currently has more than 200 stores across the country and stocks thousands of products including homeware and DIY essentials.

The Sun has contacted Poundland and The Range for comment.

It comes after a last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal for Wilko failed, intensifying fears over the future of thousands of jobs.

Administrators for the high street chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko shops.

But today, Mr Putman revealed he was"no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko".

Wilko employed around 12,500 staff and administrators have already announced more than 1,600 redundancies in recent weeks.

This week the retailer will shut 52 shops that had no interest from potential buyers in a move which will lead to 1,016 redundancies.

It said 24 of its shops will close on Tuesday, September 12, with a further 28 shops due to shut on Thursday, September 14.

PwC has also announced hundreds of redundancies affecting workers at the firm’s warehouses in Worksop and Newport, as well as cuts at its support centre.

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The 90-year-old retail chain tumbled into administration early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

Chief executive officer, Mark Jackson, said that the company had "left no stone unturned" in a bid to save the chain.

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