By Harry Mottram: For the 12,500 Wilko staff and the ailing store’s hundreds of suppliers it’s been an unedifying few days, as the spivs, sharks and chancers put in bids for all or part of the retailer. Emily Hawkins in This Is Money reported on how administrator PwC had been approached by what she described as ‘charlatans and chancers’ with serious or not so serious bids for Wilko. She wrote: “Sources close to the sales process this weekend expressed frustration that PwC, the administrators, have been obliged to give consideration to every offer, no matter how implausible or unprofessional.”
The latest situation widely reported in the media is that rival budget retailed B&M is poised to take on 51 of the 400 stores meaning the majority of the stores will close along with 75% or more of the staff will be set to lose their jobs. If the deal is successful, then unsecured suppliers will be lucky to get anything – and the staff who are fired may also be out of pocket.
Ian Carrotte of ICSM said it was depressing to see spivs, sharks and chancers trying to get a piece of the collapsed company when legitimate suppliers were being left high and dry. He said: “We expect the administrators to only take proper bids to buy the firm (or parts of it) seriously. The idea as reported that PwC have to take seriously bids such as M2 Capital, Manse and others is a concern. Wilko is part of the Great British High Street and hopefully the chain store retailer can be bought by a rival and retain its position in the UK economy. Spivs and chancers who make a mockery of such events is unacceptable as suppliers and workers and of course tax payers will end up paying.”
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