In a heartening development for former Wilko employees, Poundland has extended job offers to more than 200 of them as part of its initiative to reopen some of the collapsed retailer’s stores.
Last month, Poundland announced its acquisition of up to 71 Wilko stores from administrator PwC and unveiled plans to rebrand and relaunch them as Poundland outlets.
As a significant aspect of this takeover, Poundland expressed its commitment to “prioritise” former Wilko staff members who applied for positions within the revitalised stores.
This commitment has now come to fruition with the reopening of the first 10 shops this past weekend.
More jobs are being offered
Wilko, a well-known presence on UK High Streets, faced an uncertain future when a rescue deal for the chain fell through, leading to fears of the brand’s disappearance. However, Poundland’s proactive approach has provided a lifeline for both the stores and the workers.
Poundland, which is owned by Pepco, has not only made job offers to over 200 former Wilko employees but has also indicated that this number is steadily increasing. This positive development underscores Poundland’s dedication to revitalising the High Street presence of these stores.
In a statement, Austin Cooke, Managing Director of Poundland, praised the tremendous efforts of the company’s employees in swiftly transforming former Wilko outlets into brand-new Poundland stores in just six days. He called it a “phenomenal achievement” and reiterated Poundland’s commitment to creating employment opportunities for former Wilko colleagues.
The rapid expansion will continue
Cooke further emphasised Poundland’s determination to maintain this momentum, with plans to open another 10 stores under the Poundland brand this weekend. He expressed his delight in witnessing the enthusiasm of the newly onboarded Wilko staff as they welcomed both loyal and new customers to their stores.
“As our new colleagues from Wilko welcomed customers old and new back to their stores last weekend, we were inspired to continue this rapid expansion and deliver the incredible value we promise to even more high streets this Saturday,” Cooke stated.
Poundland’s proactive approach not only preserves the legacy of Wilko on the High Street but also provides a promising future for former Wilko employees, giving them an opportunity to continue serving their local communities in their familiar retail environment.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.