Staff at Armley’s Wilko store are facing an anxious wait to find out whether they will still have a job after the homeware retailer today collapsed into administration after failing to secure a rescue deal.
The chain has so far been unable to find enough emergency investment to save its 400 shops and 12,500 workers.
The stores will stay open for now, without any immediate job losses, and staff will continue to be paid.
Mark Jackson, the chief executive, said: “We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that, with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.
“We’ve all fought hard to keep this incredible business intact but must concede that time has run out and now, we must do what’s best to preserve as many jobs as possible, for as long as is possible, by working with our appointed administrators.”
Wilko had received “a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business”, said Jackson, but it had not been able to finalise these in time to save the business.
Administrators from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who were formally appointed this afternoon, said they would continue to seek a buyer for all or part of the business.