(Sharecast News) – Another 71 Wilko stores were set to change nameplates, it emerged on Tuesday afternoon, as Poundland stepped in to acquire the locations.
The move came a day after discussions between the chain’s administrators and HMV’s Canadian owner Doug Putman to salvage the Wilko brand and around 200 of its outlets fell through.
According to the Evening Standard, Poundland would make efforts to absorb as many Wilko employees as possible, although it fell short of committing to retain all staff from the acquired locations.
The company, part of South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff International, reportedly said that it would ‘prioritise’ hiring those previously employed by Wilko.
Poundland was planning to transition the acquired stores to its banner by the early autumn, adding to its portfolio of more than 800 locations.
It was understood that the locations of the stores being taken over would largely represent areas where Poundland currently had minimal presence.
FTSE 100 discount retailer B&M European Value Retail had previously agreed to acquire just over 50 Wilko outlets, in a deal estimated at £13m.
“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,” Poundland managing director Barry Williams was quoted as saying.
“And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team.
“The Wilko stores will accelerate our existing transformation programme, offering amazing value for consumers, providing growth opportunities for suppliers and supporting employment in the high streets, shopping centres and retail parks customers love.”
Steinhoff International is dual-listed in both Johannesburg and Frankfurt, and also owns the Sleepmaster and Pep&Co brands in the UK.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.