Supplier demands place roadblock in front of Wilko rescue deal

HMV’s proposed rescue deal to save the majority of Wilko’s stores is under threat, with key suppliers demanding upfront payment of outstanding debts to guarantee continuing to provide products.

News emerged late last week that Canadian turnaround specialist Doug Putnam, who saved HMV and Toys R Us in Canada, was in talks to save around two-thirds of Wilko’s 400 stores.

However, The Guardian has reported that suppliers including Unilever and Procter & Gamble have told Wilko that they want their debts repaid immediately in order to continue to guarantee supplying stores.

The report also notes that some suppliers who have cancelled shipments to Wilko stores since its entry into administration would not be able to ship products for at least six weeks.

Despite the concerns slowing rescue talks, the Sun has reported that sources are optimistic that a deal could be achieved this week.

Administrators at PwC are in talks with companies including B&M Bargains, Poundland, Home Bargains and the Range to take over some of Wilko’s stores, though Putnam’s proposal is the most concrete to save the majority of the retailer’s staff and stores.

The company has already begun to cut staff numbers, with 269 people at Wilko’s Woksop support centre having their last day on Monday.

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