Wilko Closures: Jobs in Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant and Waterlooville under threat as HMV owner deal collapses
and live on Freeview channel 276
The owner of HMV, Doug Putman, was trying to strike a deal up a deal for the stricken retailer but this has now fallen through. Wilko has stores in the Arundel Shopping Centre in Arundel Street, The Meridian Shopping Centre in Havant, Dukes Walk in Waterlooville and Market Squay Shopping Centre in West Street, Fareham.
Two locations in Hampshire, in the Wellington Centre in Aldershot and the West Quay retail park in Southampton, have already been earmarked for closure this week – along with 50 others which will lead to 1,016 redundancies. Discount retailer B&M is purchasing 51 shops across the UK in a £13m deal.
NOW READ: Wilko HMV owner deal explained
Administrators for Wilko had been in discussions with Mr Putman, of Putman Investments, over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko stores. The founder of Putman Investments said: “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko having worked with administrators and suppliers over several weeks to seek a viable way to rescue it as a going concern.
“We had financing in place and received the full support of PwC, Wilko management and staff representatives, which we are deeply thankful for considering what a challenging time it has been for them.
"However, commitment to overhauling the trading framework of the business with partners and the costs of running Wilko’s legacy operations infrastructure combined has meant that a stable foundation could not be secured to ensure long-term success for the business and its people in the way that we would have wanted.”
SEE ALSO: Full list of Wilko closures so far
Sky News reported that PwC administrators are now in talks with Poundland over a potential deal to offload about 100 stores. Other high street chains including The Range and Home Bargains have reportedly signalled their interest in buying the Wilko brand, or stores.
Wilko employs roughly 12,500 staff, with B&M not agreeing to take on the retailer’s employees as part of its deal. Administrators have already announced more than 1,600 redundancies at Wilko in recent weeks.
Nadine Houghton, national officer for the GMB union, said the deal ran out of time “due to the incompetency of Wilko bosses” and it is a “devastating blow” for thousands of workers.