Dozens of jobs in Peterborough, Cambridge and Ely were under threat tonight with the possible collapse of budget retailer Wilko.
The family-owned company has struggled in recent years and despite borrowing large sums to restructure the business, tonight the company – with 400 stores nationwide – is on the brink.
The technical details are simply this: Wilko has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.
It follows their inability to find anyone prepared to invest cash into the ailing business.
Staff at their Cambridgeshire stores, along with others, will have to wait anxiously to see whether a buyer, or investor, can be found.
Chief executive Mark Jackson is pessimistic about the former, confirming Wilko was struggling to find anyone prepared to take on the company.
A statement issued by Wilko said: “We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.
“We’re a £1.2bn turnover business with strong presence on UK high streets through our 400 stores, online at wilko.com and through our great value Wilko own brand products, serving local communities with their everyday household and garden needs for over 90 years.”
Wilko’s announcement of a ‘notice of intent’ offers it a window to find a suitor.
The notice effectively protects the company from creditors for 10 days to give it the breathing space it might need to put the company back on an even keel.
So, for now it is business as usual as the company, and its staff, anxiously await the next stage.
Legally a notice of intent does not mean appointment of liquidators is a given, but the company has only a limited time to resolve its mounting difficulties.
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