Wilko issues heartfelt message to all shoppers as beloved chain with 400 stores on the brink of closing | The Sun

WILKO has issued a heartfelt message to shoppers as the future of its 400 stores hangs in the balance.

The discount retailer has said it has been "humbled" by the support from its loyal fans.

The popular high-street retailer announced last week that it has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.

It continues to trade as normal for the time being but it is unsure what will happen in the future.

The news has come as a shock to fans of the discount chain and many have been taking to social media to show their support.

And in a recent social media post the retailer has thanked its loyal supporters for "all the love".

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It said: "We're humbled by the amount of love you've sent our way after the news this week.

"Right now, we're still here and we're doing everything in our power to stay that way.

"Please pop down to your local store today, we'd LOVE to see you!"

The post on Facebook has already attracted 3.5k likes and over 1k comments.

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One fan said: "What a lovely post, Wilko is simply the best. I go there every single weekend. Please please keep on fighting to stay with us."

Another commented: "I hope Wilko will be saved. Lost count of the things I've bought from you."

While another added: "I love Wilko, keeping everything crossed for the stores and the staff."

The discount chain has 400 shops and employs around 12,000 people.

The notice of intent comes as Wilko owners were said to be exploring the sale of the business just last month.

Wilko chief executive Mark Jackson confirmed there has been "significant levels of interest" but the business has not yet received an offer.

He said: "We'll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business."

What will happen if Wilko does go into administration?

If a buyer cannot be found and Wilko does go into administration this means all control of the business is passed to an appointed administrator – who has to be a licensed insolvency practitioner.

Their goal is to leverage the company's assets and business to repay creditors.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the business.

Instead, administrators will try to help a company find ways to repay debts or solve its cash flow problems.

Administration can last anywhere from a few weeks to up to a year or more.

But if the administration process can't rescue the company or find a new owner, this usually leads to liquidation.

Liquidation is the process of selling all assets and then dissolving the company completely.

Wilko is yet to confirm exactly what will happen to all stores and 12,000 jobs.

It comes after the company announced plans to close more than a dozen of its shops in January last year.

Then in February 2023, it revealed it planned to cut over 400 jobs, including both store and head office roles.

Wilko, like many other high street retailers, is said to have seen a big drop in footfall and has "stopped performing to its full potential".

Retailers have been feeling the pinch since the pandemic while shoppers are cutting back on spending due to soaring inflation.

High energy costs and a shift to shopping online after the pandemic are also taking a toll and many high street shops have struggled to keep going.

Numerous high street brands have collapsed into administration in the last 12 months.

From the Scottish clothing brand M&Co to wellies store Joules, a number of familiar brands went bust in 2022.

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Major burger chain Byron Burger fell into administration in January and immediately shut all nine restaurants.

Paperchase then collapsed into administration at the end of the same month and all 106 stores have since closed for good.

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