Wilko rivals given less than 48 HOURS to make bid for bargain chain and save shops from closing down | The Sun

WILKO rivals have been given a deadline to make a bid to save the ailing chain.

The retailer's administrators have given interested parties until Wednesday to submit any rescue offers.

The Sun previously reported that rivals of the bargain brand are interested in rescuing the business, which could save hundreds of shops from closing and thousands of jobs from being lost.

But we revealed on Friday that Poundstretcher is not one of the names considering stepping in.

Sources at Poundstretcher told The Sun it has "no interest" in rescuing Wilko from administration.

The insider said that Wilko's business model is "unprofitable" and for that reason "has no interest whatsoever".

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Other Wilko rivals could snap up between 200 and 300 of the retailer's shops – but no deal is on the table yet.

Hilco Capital, which invested £40million pounds in the business in January, won't be bidding, the FT reports.

The restructuring and refinancing firm previously rescued Clintons and Homebase out of administration.

It also oversaw the liquidation process of both British Home Stores and Woolworths.

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It comes after Wilko appointed administrators last week in a move which saw all control of the business being passed over to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Across social media shoppers have been sharing their emotional tributes to the discounter, with many comparing it to the loss of Woolworths.

Chief Executive Officer, Mark Jackson, said last week that the company had "left no stone unturned" in a bid to save the chain.

In an emotional open letter to all staff and heartbroken shoppers, Mr Jackson thanked them for their support.

But a deal to save Wilko's stores could be difficult to reach, retail experts say.

Rival discounters like B&M and Home Bargains have succeeded in out-of-town locations.

But most of Wilko's stores are located on the high street, where shoppers tend to buy less and rents are higher, making them less appealing to any potential buyer.

Retail analyst Richard Hyman previously told The Sun: "I'm not sure any of the string discounters would want the stores – they have generally avoided high streets to focus on retail parks, which are better locations for this kind of retailing.

"However, Wilko's stock will be a major attraction. At retail prices, there will be between five and £600 million of stock and the opportunity to acquire it at a knock down price will attract some opportunists."

A buyer could save stores and the brand, or could just purchase the brick-and-mortar sites to use as their own.

Or a deal could include no stores at all, instead buying up the stock or brand name.

The retailer launched a huge administration sale over the weekend as the race to save the chain continues.

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Signs have popped up in Wilko stores that read: "Wilko administration sale. 1000s of reductions throughout the store."

Wilko administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). has confirmed the sale is beginning to take place in all stores.

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