Wilko in talks over £30m emergency loan

Budget retail giant Wilko is in talks over a £30m emergency loan to help it through the Christmas trading period, according to The Times.

The news comes just weeks after the firm was reported to be considering a range of cost-cutting options on the back of “soaring inflation and shipment delays.”

The Nottinghamshire-headquartered retailer is understood to have approached alternative lenders after failing to secure an extension to its revolving credit facility.

Despite this, Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO, said the company’s relationship with current lenders is secure.

He said: “Our relationship with our lending partners is solid. The recent sale and leaseback of our distribution centre to DHL earlier this week unlocked £48m which has enabled us to repay our revolving credit facility in full.

“We’re taking this opportunity, now that the deal is done, to review how we manage our ongoing financing to best trade through the current retail environment while continuing to invest in our future.”

Wilko completed the £48m sale and leaseback of its distribution centre in Worksop a little over a week ago.

The deal was the first in a series of “transformational efficiencies” planned by the firm.

In January, the company launched a review of its store portfolio and has since closed 15 sites across the UK.

Saint-Marc said at the time there was “no denying the way people shop with us and where they want to shop with us is changing.”

Wilko currently has 402 stores and employs around 16,000 people.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...