Wilco closes stores.  The UK’s beloved Polish store is history
  • Wilko is closing more than 400 stores after 97 years.
  • British Pepco was a beloved family chain for both Britons and Poles living in the UK.
  • The store offers, among other things: household items.
  • Wilko failed to deal with strong competition, new purchasing trends among customers (online shopping) and financial problems.
  • Wilco stores ceased to exist on October 1.
  • More than 12 thousand employees will be laid off. employees.

Wilko is closing its stores after 97 years – The media in Great Britain does not stop writing about this issue. More than 400 stores will close and 12,500 people will lose their jobs – BBC News reports. Shops It will close at the beginning of October, the first until this Friday – says the British trade union GMB.

retail chain Wilco It was huge. In 2020, the discounter had 419 stores across the UK. Its offer included household appliances, household chemicals and interior furnishings. The range was very extensive – from dish soap and household chemicals to toys, stationery, small electronics, furniture and paints. That’s why they’re called Wilco “British Pepco”.

Now everything points to that The Wilco family company will disappear from the British market. Customers, employees and the British media make no secret of their regret.

Wilco had a loyal customer base and they were the ones who couldn’t believe they would lose the store they used to shop at “forever.” – Wilco will be missed in the market, because they sold cheap little things and it was unprofitable to buy them online. Here I can buy a single key on the spot for a pound, one of the store’s regular customers told the Guardian.

Employees who have not yet received any official information about the fate of their workplace do not hide their disappointment. -I feel angry, this didn’t have to happen. My heart bleeds for the many wonderful customers and their disappointed faces I’ve seen over the past few weeks – says one Wilco employee.

Staff at all Wilco stores across Great Britain began to notice the first problems at the beginning of January this year, when shelves began to empty, Even the core products the chain has offered so far were missing. Customers are already starting to wonder if it’s even possible Shops They will close. However, by then there were fewer and fewer buyers, and the first problems began with the outbreak of the epidemic.

To date, most Wilco stores are located in convenient and attractive locations. They were usually located in city centers and on large shopping streets – The chain had many stores, for example on the so-called high streets, i.e. the main streets in the regions. Although these sites look attractive, Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been a change in consumer preferences when shopping.

Customers increasingly prefer to shop in suburban retail complexes with larger spaces, That’s why more companies are moving there. Wilco’s owners did not want to notice these trends.

close location It was also a problem Number of stores. – says Charles Allen, retail analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, quoted by the BBC. by One There may be a few Wilco stores on the street. However, the company’s owners did not want to hear about some store closings, as did employees who might lose their jobs and customers who would only have one discount store instead of two on their street.

Added to this is the strong competition that has invested in its business. B&M, Poundland, The Range and Home Bargains often offered lower prices for the same products as rising costs of living forced shoppers to hunt for bargains.

All of this put Wilco in a difficult position in August this year and the owners having to make an announcement Bankruptcy case.

Attempts were made to save the discount store’s difficult situation, although it was not easy. The discount store has been suffering from significant losses and a lack of financial liquidity since the summer. There was a shortage of goods because there was no money, the cash registers were empty because there were fewer and fewer products on the shelves, there was a shortage of workers because the stores were increasingly reducing the number of employees – these are just some of the problems faced by making the chain situation. more difficult.

Mark Jackson, Wilco’s chief executive, confirmed in August that everything was being done to “restore confidence and stabilize the operations of this amazing family business”. The company then went into receivership.

The savior was supposed to be Canadian billionaire Doug Putman. Who owns the largest toy store chain in this country – Toys R Us. The businessman wanted to acquire 200 of the more than 400 Wilko stores. However, the plan failed because the deal was supposed to be unprofitable. The obstacle was the high costs of maintaining the central infrastructure.

Pepco Group has also joined the game (owner of the Pepco and Dealz brands in Europe and Poundland in Great Britain), which has reached an agreement with PwC (manager of the British chain) and has Grab some Wilko stores. We’re talking about 71 leases, which were scheduled to be completed in early fall. Pepco wants to add to a network of more than 800 stores in Poundland.

Wilko’s rival B&M has also put forward its proposal. However, he only wants to acquire 51 stores, It is also unclear whether jobs will be retained, and current Wilco employees will be prioritized during hiring.

It all led up to this in early October Wilco, a chain of department stores beloved by the Britishwill likely cease to exist.

– Morale is at an all-time low. British media quoted 57-year-old James, who has worked at Wilco for more than twelve years, as saying: “We are not clear what will happen next.” The employees still have not received information about what will happen to them.

Meanwhile, as the BBC reported:

  • 124 stores Wilco will close within days September 17-21,
  • activity Distribution center It will end September 15,
  • And the rest 222 stores They will be silent October 1.

People are frustrated by Wilco’s management. According to GMB. 299 employees have already been laid off from the distribution center. In total, up to 12,500 people are expected to lose their jobswho have so far found work in stores across the country Great Britain. Finding new jobs for them will be a major challenge for the British economy.

Wilco will cease to exist after 97 years. The first homewares store was founded in 1930 in Leicester by James Kimsey Wilkinson. The business has become one of the fastest growing among retail chains in the UK. Wilkinson ran the company until his death in 1997, when his heirs took over the company.

Wilco climbed into the gap in the High Street beyond Woolworths collapse At the end of 2008.

In 2012, Wilkinson began renaming its stores to Wilko, and by 2014, most stores incorporated the new name in their store windows. In 2020, there were 419 Wilko stores in the UK, and the chain employed 12.5 thousand employees.

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