The Range strikes £5m deal to buy collapsed Wilko’s brand


The Range, the value retail chain, has struck a deal to buy the Wilko brand from its collapsed rival’s administrators.

Sky News has learnt that The Range, founded and owned by Chris Dawson, has agreed to pay in the region of £5m for the Wilko name.

The deal is expected to be announced later on Wednesday.

It will be the latest in a series of transactions signed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as more than 10,000 job losses loom at Wilko.

While 120 stores – more than a quarter of Wilko’s estate – have been sold to B&M European Value Retail and Poundland’s owner, it remains unclear whether the staff working at those stores will be transferred to their new owners.

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The gloom surrounding Wilko’s workforce deepened after Doug Putman, the HMV owner, pulled out of a deal to salvage as many as 300 shops after his financing was cancelled.

Prior to the collapse of that transaction, PwC had already announced about 1,600 redundancies since the family-owned chain crashed into insolvency last month.

Wilko – owned by the founding Wilkinson family for decades – had been seeking external investment for months, a search which acquired greater urgency four weeks ago when PwC was formally appointed as administrator.

Established by the Wilkinson family in 1930, the chain sells homewares and garden furniture at discounted prices.

PwC declined to comment, while The Range could not be reached for comment.