Dozens of Wilko stores to be taken over by Poundland

Poundland on Tuesday said that it would buy dozens of soon-to-be vacated Wilko stores after a deal to save the high street retailer from administration collapsed earlier this week.

Poundland, owned by Poland’s Pepco Group, said that it had agreed a deal with Wilko administrator PwC to take control of up to 71 Wilko store leases. The company will convert the stores to the Poundland brand while offering roles for Wilko team members.

The lease assignments are expected to be completed in early Autumn, Poundland said.

Commenting on the news, Poundland managing director Barry Williams said: “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. And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team.”

Poundland currently operates over 800 stores across the UK, and this month will open or relocate new stores in Torquay, Ipswich, Selby, Pontefract, Cardiff, Teignmouth, Dartmouth and Ryde.

PwC, which on Monday confirmed that all Wilko stores are due to close next month, separately said: "We will continue to engage with other retailers around any interest in other Wilko sites and are confident of completing a sale of the brand and intellectual property within the coming days.”

Pepco separately on Tuesday announced the departure of chief executive Trevor Masters, the former Tesco executive who first took over as interim chief executive at the firm last March. No reason was given for his departure.

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