The Range buys Wilko meaning name will not disappear from UK high streets

The Range confirmed it will sell Wilko products “in-store”

Henry Saker-Clark
Thursday 14 September 2023 10:39 BST
Wilko’s brand, website and intellectual property have been bought by The Range (Yui Mok/PA)
Wilko’s brand, website and intellectual property have been bought by The Range (Yui Mok/PA)

The Range has sealed a deal to buy Wilko’s brand, website and intellectual property after the high street chain tumbled into administration.

Wilko’s name will not disappear from high streets for good as a result of the deal, with The Range confirming that it will sell Wilko products “in-store”.

Administrators at PwC have sought to sell off Wilko’s assets in recent weeks, including its brand and shops, after failing to secure a rescue deal for the whole business.

More than 10,000 further Wilko workers are set to lose their jobs by next month as a result.

PwC said it expects Wilko’s online operations to restart under the new ownership once the closure of Wilko’s remaining stores is completed in early October.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will also see 36 workers from Wilko’s digital team transfer over to the Range.

Jane Steer, joint administrator, said: “Since our appointment, the feedback from customers and wider stakeholders during this challenging period has reinforced the fact that Wilko remains a much loved and trusted brand within the UK.

“This sale to The Range will ensure that the Wilko name lives on under their ownership and we wish The Range every success.”

The Range, which runs 210 stores across the UK, has said it will also offer click and collect on products from Wilko.com.

Alex Simpkin, chief executive officer of The Range said: “This acquisition comes at a time when consumers are more than ever wanting to shop with confidence for value and quality.

“We are delighted to have acquired this brand and we will ensure that the Wilko brand will continue to deliver for the UK consumer, both in-store and on-line.

“I am also delighted that we were able to retain the Wilko digital trading team, the team are very skilled and experienced, and it means a lot to us to ensure that we could save as many ‘fellow’ retail positions as possible.”

Wilko started its store closure programme earlier this week and Thursday is set to be the final day of trading for 28 further shops.

Wilko was originally founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester in 1930.

The family-owned business employed 12,500 staff and ran 400 shops before it hired administrators early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

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