Wilko family issues heartbreaking update as high street chain's stores and workers still at risk | The Sun

THE FAMILY behind struggling Wilko has issued a heartbreaking update as the chain struggles for survival.

The retailer tumbled into administration earlier this month, putting the future of its 400 shops in doubt.

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have sought offers from interested firms in an effort to save jobs and stores.

In an emotional interview, Lisa Wilkinson, granddaughter of the chain's founder, James Wilkinson, told The Times that everybody put their "soul and heart" into saving the chain.

She said: "Everybody has thrown everything and everything again at trying to make Wilko a success.

"The team members, the suppliers, the landlords – and if I get tearful, that's how I feel because people have worked really bloody hard, round the clock, to keep the thing going."


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It comes as Andy Prendergast, the union's national secretary, wrote the business secretary Kemi Badenoch asking her to ensure PwC consider all bids for for Wilko.

He said: “The devil is in the detail but any bid that guarantees jobs must be prioritised.

“Losing Wilko will not only put 12,500 people out of work across the country, but would also be another nail in the coffin of the high street."

A last-minute bid for Wilko was received over the weekend from restructuring specialist M2 Capita.

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It is understood that the deal could keep the entire Wilko chain trading.

Just days earlier, Canadian businessman Doug Putman, who bought music retailer HMV in 2019, was believed to be making an offer.

PwC said talk of Mr Putman’s bid was “speculation”.

A spokesperson said: “Since our appointment as administrators of Wilko, we have worked relentlessly to secure a sale of the business, and talks are continuing with a number of parties.

“As administrators we’re intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved while preserving as many jobs as possible and adhering to our statutory duty to act in the best interests of the creditors as a whole.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders or interested parties at this stage in the process.”

Wilko fell into administration more than 90 years after the chain began as a single hardware shop in Leicester.

Founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in 1930, the company’s first store opened on Charnwood Street under the Wilkinson Cash Stores brand.

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Meanwhile, we have put together a full list of retailers offering jobs to devastated Wilko staff.

Plus, workers have make a desperate request to shoppers ahead of potential store closures.

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