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Poundland to save 71 Wilko shops in last-minute deal and rebrand them under its own name

 (PA)
(PA)

Poundland will buy 71 Wilko shops from administrators, and rebrand them under its own name, a day after it was revealed that all shops were set to close and more than 9,000 staff would be put out of work.

The discount retailer is not able to guarantee that all staff at these locations will have jobs at the new Poundland shops, but said it would “prioritise” the recruitment of ex-Wilko staff.

The leases for the shops are expected to transfer to Poundland in the “early autumn”, adding to the more than 800 existing Poundland shops.

The shops are “largely in locations in which [Poundland] has limited presence”. It includes four London shops, in Barking, Edmonton Green, Wembley and West Ealing,

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.

“We know how valued Wilko colleagues have been in scores of communities across the UK and we look forward to offering them opportunities to join our family.

“We recognise the last few weeks have been difficult for them and we will move quickly to secure new consents from landlords so we can offer them the certainty they deserve.

“The Wilko stores will accelerate our existing transformation programme, offering amazing value for consumers, providing growth opportunities for suppliers and supporting employment in the high streets, shopping centres and retail parks customers love.”

It comes a day after administrators revealed 9,100 Wilko staff would lose their jobs, as talks with HMV owner Doug Putman to save the Wilko brand name and around 200 shops collapsed.

Rival discounter B&M is also set to buy just over 50 stores, in a £13 million deal.

For the full list of the 71 Wilko stores across the UK that are expected to become Poundland shops, click here.