Wilko falls into administration after failing to secure new funding

It’s a shock to all fans of this budget high-street brand.

One of the UK’s biggest budget homes and gardens retailers, Wilko, has collapsed into administration after failing to secure funding to rescue its 400 outlets across the UK, putting more than 12,000 jobs at risk, reports The Guardian.

It seems the high-street staple has struggled in recent months. In a statement issued to Sky News in July, Chief Executive Mark Jackson explained: “We’ve been very open that we’re exploring all the options available to rebound as a business and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.”

But despite the store’s effort, it has been unsuccessful in securing support, and it’s expected that dozens of outlets will be closed.

Quoted in The Guardian, Jackson said: “We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that, with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.”

But what does that mean for us? News of Wilko’s potential demise has sent shockwaves through the Saga Exceptional team. Here are just a few of the things we’re not sure we can cope without.

Wilkinson Wilko logo sign in Northampton town centre.Credit: Shutterstock / Jevanto Productions

1. Homebrew kit

It’s THE place to go if you’re making your own beer or wine

If you’re after beer finings or campden tablets (if you know, you know), you can pick them up cheaply and easily at Wilko.

Saga Exceptional’s garden editor Simon Akeroyd will certainly mourn the loss of the home brew department in his local store, which sells ingredients like malt and wine stabiliser, equipment including fermenting bins and strainers and – if you’re feeling lazy – all-in-one kits that have everything you need in one box.


2. Picture frames

Odd-sized photos? Wilko had your back!

Imagine the scene. The family are coming round at short notice and you realise you don’t have the grandchildren’s latest school photos out on display. But there’s no need to panic because you know you can always rely on Wilko to have a frame just the right size to accommodate those weird cardboard mounts…

Framed photos on green wall behind sofaCredit: Wilko

3. Pick ‘n’ mix

Is anyone else having Woolworths flashbacks?

For those who remember Woolworths closing down, this latest news could be triggering some sad memories, particularly where pick ‘n’ mix is concerned. Where are we going to get our (albeit very expensive) sugar fix of white mice, foam prawns and cola bottles now?

4. Stationery, stationery and more stationery

Back to school was never easier

It’s always the same. The last day of the school holidays comes around and your kids suddenly present you with a list of 30+ items of stationery they need TOMORROW. But that’s no problem if you have a Wilko down the road, because you can guarantee they’ll have everything you need – from protractors to pencil cases to Pritt Sticks.

It’s not just school kids who love a Wilko stationery fix though.

“I may have left school over 30 years ago, but nothing gives me a thrill like new stationery,” says Jayne Cherrington-Cook, our senior editor for home tech.

“Wilko has long been my go-to for all things paper-based, whether picking up a chic new folder for work or art supplies for my son. It’s affordable, great quality and there’s so much choice that I’m wondering if I’ll ever be able to fill that stationery void if Wilko does disappear from our high streets.”

Wilko garden pots and plants in front of white brick wallCredit: Wilko

5. Garden supplies

Because who wants to drive to the garden centre EVERY time?

As a non-driver, I have to rely on the kindness of my husband or friends if I want to get anything from the garden centre – which is annoying for all if I just need a plant pot, a packet of seeds or a small bag of compost.

Better to head to Wilko, and grab its very reasonably priced garden bits, then jump on the bus home.

They have all the brands I need, from Johnsons to Baby Bio – and you can never have enough John Innes compost, I find.


6. You can buy single screws and bolts

Avoid pointless multipacks

Have you ever spotted that a piece of furniture is missing a screw, then go to buy a replacement, only to find you can purchase only 100 at a time?

Well Wilko has done away with that unnecessary cost and waste. Just select a fill-and-seal bag – last time we checked it was £1.99 for a small, and £2.99 for a large – and fill it with the exact nuts, bolts and screws in the colours and sizes you need. It’s just common sense!

7. Bird food

It’s cheap cheap!

Our homes writer Camilla Sharman says: “I’m really sad to hear that we might be losing Wilko from the high street. I’d often pop into the store for bird food – it was great to be able to pick up supplies without having to drive to an out of town store or order from Amazon.

“We always pick up seeds and fat balls – they are a great price and really helped to encourage bird life into our garden. The birds love them!”

Amy Cutmore

Written by Amy Cutmore she/her


Amy Cutmore has been writing about interiors for more than 20 years, harking back to the days when glossy red kitchens, toile de Jouy and rag rugs were all the rage, and everyone wanted a Changing Rooms makeover. You’ll have seen Amy’s work at Britain’s biggest homes titles, including Ideal Home, where she served as Consumer, Technology and Group Digital Editor. She has also edited or written for Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Inside Readers’ Homes, Inspirations for Your Home, Country House & Home, Top Ten Reviews, Trusted Reviews and Country Life.

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