Who bought Wilko and which stores are they buying?

Following the news that several stores have been rescued, shoppers want to know what will happen to Wilko now

The front of a Wilko store with an administration sale sign
(Image credit: Alamy)

Shoppers want to know who bought Wilko, after the news that 51 stores have been saved by a buyer.

After weeks of talks failed to result in a rescue deal for the budget retailer, many have been asking which Wilko stores are closing as the 85-year-old retailer headed for collapse. The news came not long after a string of Boots closures were announced too, reflecting a trend of decline in the British high street.

However, after a number of rumoured rescue deals failed to materialise, the news broke that budget retail chain B&M has agreed to buy up to 51 Wilko stores, while Poundland is also expected to convert up to 71 Wilko stores - meaning some Wilko stores will be reopening under the new brands. 

Who bought Wilko?

Discount chains B&M and Wilko have agreed to buy as many as 122 Wilko stores between them. B&M has agreed to buy 51 Wilko stores in a deal worth £13m, while Poundland will be taking over up to 71 stores.  

Wilko fell into administration in August and had difficulty finding a buyer, with reports stating that a deal tabled by HMV's owner had stalled over issues with suppliers and funding. And though 52 stores have now been earmarked for closure, administrators at PwC are reportedly still in talks with other companies that could save some of Wilko's remaining 200+ stores.

The front of a B&M store

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Buyer B&M - which was originally called Billington & Mayman - opened its first store in Blackpool in 1978, before expanding throughout the UK. It is now one of the UK’s most successful discount retailers, with a market value of £5bn and 1,100 outlets nationwide and in France.

Poundland, meanwhile, has been on the highstreet since 1990.

Edward Williams, the joint administrator at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said: "Alongside the previously announced agreement with B&M, we’re confident this sale will create a platform for future employment opportunities for people including current Wilko team members at up to 122 locations."

Which Wilko stores are B&M buying?

B&M has not yet confirmed which Wilko stores it has bought or how many jobs are expected to be saved by the new deal.

The company said it would update on the newly acquired stores at its half-year results on 9 November, with a spokesperson saying: "The consideration is fully funded from existing cash reserves and the acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances."

Which Wilko store are Poundland buying?

Poundland is buying 71 Wilko stores and rebranding them under the Poundland name. Unlike in the deal with B&M, the list of Wilko stores that have been bought by Poundland has been made public. 

  • Aberdare
  • Alfreton
  • Alnwick
  • Altrincham
  • Ammanford
  • Ashby
  • Barking
  • Bedminster
  • Beeston
  • Bicester
  • Bishop Stortford
  • Bletchley
  • Bolton
  • Brentwood
  • Brigg
  • Cambridge
  • Chepstow
  • Coalville
  • Cramlington
  • Droitwich
  • Eccles
  • Edmonton Green
  • Ellesmere Port
  • Ferndown
  • Gateshead
  • Grays
  • Greenock
  • Grimsby
  • Havant
  • Hayes
  • Headingley
  • Hessle Road - Hull
  • Hillsborough
  • Hitchin
  • Jarrow
  • Killingworth
  • Kimberley
  • Lee Circle
  • Leek
  • Leigh
  • Lichfield
  • Maidenhead
  • Matlock
  • Melton Mowbray
  • Nelson
  • Northallerton
  • Orton
  • Pembroke Dock
  • Peterlee
  • Pontefract
  • Pontypool
  • Redhill
  • Redruth
  • Ripley
  • Rugeley
  • Sale
  • Seaham
  • Selly Oak
  • Shrewsbury Darwin Centre
  • South Shields
  • Southport
  • Stafford
  • Stamford
  • Stockport
  • Thornaby
  • Wellington
  • Wembley
  • West Ealing
  • Wombwell
  • Worcester
  • Worksop

What will happen to the other Wilko stores?

On Tuesday 12 September, the first Wilko stores began to shut their doors for good. The remaining stores are staying open for now as administrators look for buyers - with rumours that Home Bargains and The Range are also in talks about taking on stores.

Meanwhile, the money raised by the sale to B&M and Pundland will help recover funds for Wilko's creditors, as administrators PwC oversee the running of the business with all of its associated costs, such as employee wages.

The first redundancies at Wilko started on Monday 4 September, with 269 jobs at Wilko's support centre in Worksop and 14 others at a subsidiary firm reported to have been axed.

Tania Clench, legal director in the restructuring and insolvency team at Cripps, said of the news: "Despite today's deal, the future of the remaining Wilko stores still remains in doubt, meaning thousands of high street workers still face losing their jobs, and unsecured creditors still don’t know where they stand. The dialogue with Doug Putman appears still to be ongoing, but it looks like if that deal is to be reached, fewer stores than originally anticipated will be acquired."

Tania explained "Anyone who takes on Wilko will need to invest time and cash in bringing the stores and the brand in line with what its rivals are offering," but she added, "I would not be surprised to see other potential bids for parts of the business coming through and with these, hopefully, jobs being saved."

The Wilko store closures are another blow to the high street, with other chains who have been forced to close some of their sites recently including IcelandNew Look and Argos

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.