HOMEWARES retailer Wilko has gone into administration – putting around 12,000 jobs at risk.
The company, which had been working to secure investment to keep going, confirmed the move today (Thursday).
The chain, founded in 1930, has some 400 stores across the UK – including in Ferndown, Yeovil, Poole and Bournemouth – employing around 12,000 people.
There has been no confirmation of the next steps for staff, with stores currently remaining open.
CEO Mark Jackson said the company had been working for six months in a bid to ‘stabilise our business’.
“We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration,” he said.
He said ‘indicative’ offers for the company had been made, but time constraints and cash flow issues meant a deal could not be done.
“While we can confirm we had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, without the surety of being able to complete the deal within the necessary time frame and given the cash position, we’ve been left with no choice but to take this unfortunate action,” he added.
“I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the directors and the Wilkinson family to thank all of our customers, suppliers, partners and our hardworking team members across our stores, logistics and support centre who remained loyal to Wilko.
“We’ve all fought hard to keep this incredible business intact but must concede that time has run out and now, we must do what’s best to preserve as many jobs as possible, for as long as is possible, by working with our appointed administrators.
“It’s been an honour to have worked alongside you all as we fought to realise and to maximise the significant opportunities that existed to re-establish a profitable Wilko.”