East London’s remaining Wilko stores could face closure after a last-ditch rescue deal collapsed.
An attempt by HMV owner Doug Putman to buy around 200 Wilko shops collapsed today (September 11), intensifying fears over job losses.
Wilko previously announced on September 6 that its shops on East Street in Barking and in Unit 10, The Mall in Dagenham would shut the following week.
Barking’s Wilko is set to close tomorrow (September 12), and the Dagenham store on Thursday (September 14).
The future of Romford, East Ham, Walthamstow, Ilford and Stratford branches is uncertain.
Mr Putman, founder of Putman Investments, said: “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko.”
The HMV owner said despite having financing in place and the support of PwC administrators and Wilko management, a stable foundation could not be secured to ensure long-term success for the business.
Sky News has reported that administrators from PwC are in talks with Poundland over a potential deal to offload around 100 stores.
Wilko, which employed around 12,500 people, has already announced a £13 million deal to sell 51 shops to B&M, although the rival discounter has not agreed to take on Wilko workers as part of the deal.
Administrators have already announced more than 1,600 redundancies at Wilko in recent weeks.
This week the retailer will shut 52 shops in a move which will lead to 1,016 redundancies.
It said 24 of its shops will close on tomorrow, and a further 28 stores are due to shut on Thursday.
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.
Wilko, a 90-year-old retail chain, tumbled into administration early last month.