Wilko shops saved as Poundland swoops in to snap up 71 of retailer’s branches

Pepco Group, which owns Poundland, has announced an agreement to take over the leases of up to 71 Wilko stores. 

The company have said that Wilko staff would have priority when applying for new jobs at the Poundland shops.

This news comes after HMV owner Doug Putman’s final effort to secure a rescue deal, aiming to purchase around 200 Wilko shops, fell through earlier this week. 

Fellow bargain retailer B&M has already signed a £13million deal to buy up to 51 Wilko stores, which are also likely to be rebranded. 

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Poundland wrote: “A short note to Wilko colleagues Today we obtained lease option agreements for up to 71 Wilko stores.

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“We promise we’ll be working our tails off in the coming days to agree new terms with landlords so we can welcome as many of you as possible in those stores to our Poundland team.

“We know the last few weeks have been tough for you and we’ll do all we can to give you the certainty you deserve – as quickly as we’re able. Thank you for all you’ve done for Wilko.”

It added: “We’re looking forward to being able to ask you to consider applying your talents and commitment as part of our Poundland team.”

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The leases of the Wilko stores assigned to Poundland are said to be largely in locations in which the brand has limited presence.

The lease assignments are expected to be finalised in early autumn, enabling these stores to form part of Poundland’s extensive UK network, which already comprises over 800 locations.

Barry Williams, managing director of Poundland, said: “In the coming weeks, we will work quickly with landlords so we can open these stores as Poundlands with the new ranges that have been pivotal to our recent development.   

“And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team. We know how valued Wilko colleagues have been in scores of communities across the UK and we look forward to offering them opportunities to join our family.” 

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Andy Bond, executive chairman of Pepco Group, added: “The agreement to assign a number of Wilko store leases to Pepco Group will help to bring Poundland’s value and wide offer to even more customers in the UK.

“It will be pleasing to offer employment to a number of Wilko’s colleagues – who will benefit from being part of a successful and fast-growing pan-European variety discount group.

“Pepco Group is well placed for future success across Europe, supported by its market-leading customer proposition, strong balance sheet and impressive cash flow.

“The group’s strategy to become a bigger, better, cheaper and simpler business will enable it to continue to provide families on a budget with great range, value and convenience for many years to come.”

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