Monday, September 25, 2023

News: Closure date for remaining Rotherham Wilko store


The administrators of discount retailer, wilko, have confirmed when its remaining store in Rotherham will close.

The British high-street retail chain was founded in 1930 sells homeware and household goods. The group, with headquarters in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, had 400 stores across the UK and approximately 12,500 employees.

Jane Steer, Zelf Hussain and Edward Williams of PwC were appointed as Joint Administrators of Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd, wilko Ltd and Ltd after it was hit by incredibly challenging trading conditions, both throughout the pandemic and more recently as it has felt the impact of the cost of living crisis, resulting in increasing cashflow pressure and a deterioration in trading.

With administrators investigating a potential sale, an offer being explored for the sale of hundreds of stores as a going concern fell through, leading to their closure being confirmed.

The 20,000 sq ft wilko store at Parkgate Shopping is set to have its last day of trade on October 8.

It follows on from the store at Cortonwood Shopping Park, which is in the Rotherham borough, which closed on September 14.

Rival retailer B&M is reported to be acquiring 51 former wilko store premises and Poundland owner Pepco is set to take on the leases of up to 71 stores. The Rotherham stores are not on the list of those taken on by Poundland, and the B&M deal has not yet been detailed further.

The Range agreed a deal to buy the Wilko brand, website and intellectual property.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “Wilko should have thrived in a bargain retail sector that is otherwise strong, but it was run into the ground by the business owners.

“Money was siphoned out of the business for dividends, warnings about what needed to be done to save the business were not heeded and advice around what the business to do to thrive was not listened to.

“No worker caused the downfall of Wilko. But they will be the ones who will suffer – all as the owners get off scot-free. GMB will not stop campaigning for the owners of this debacle to be held to account.”

Rothbiz revealed in 2014 that wilko was set to take a large unit that was vacated by electrical retailer, Comet at Parkgate Shopping. At the time, an agreement was reached with Rotherham Council and the retailer that would see the town centre store staying open for at least five years if plans for Parkgate were approved.

In 2022, even before giong into administration, the wilko on Corporation Street closed down. To aid town centre regeneration, Rotherham Council acquired the empty unit and the area has been earmarked as the potential location for a new theatre.

Images: Google Maps


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