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UK retailer Wilko collapses, risks 12,500 jobs

LONDON (AFP) – British household goods company Wilko has collapsed owing to big debts, its boss announced yesterday, impacting about 12,500 jobs as high inflation and interest rates hurt consumers and businesses.

The group, operating out of 400 United KingdomK stores as well as online selling cleaning and garden products in addition to other small household items, has formally entered administration, a process that could see parts of the business saved.

“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,” Wilko Chief Executive Mark Jackson said in an open letter on its website.

Wilko has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators of the distressed company, founded in 1930 and headquartered in the town of Worksop, central England.

“It is incredibly sad that a well-loved, family business that has been on the high street for over 90 years has had to go into administration,” said PwC partner heading the adminstration team Zelf Hussain.

“Many high street retailers are facing a number of well-documented challenges and Wilko has been significantly impacted by the headwinds facing the industry including inflationary pressure and rising interest rates.”

“Stores will continue to trade as normal for the time being and staff will continue to be paid,” he said.

PHOTO: AFP
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