Poundland recruits 962 former Wilko staff as its business empire grows

Budget retailer Poundland has recruited 962 former staff from the collapsed high street chain Wilko over the past three months.

Over the last quarter, Poundland has opened 87 stores including 64 former Wilkos as it expands its business empire. It struck a deal in September to buy up to 71 Wilko stores from administrator PwC.

A spokesman said: “In the 64 Wilko locations it has re-opened, 826 former Wilko colleagues have now joined Poundland on hourly paid contracts, with a further 122 becoming Poundland store managers or assistant store managers.”

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“A further 14 former Wilko colleagues have begun working at Poundland’s main customer support centre in Walsall. Poundland will be able to extend further opportunities to former Wilko colleagues as it secures leases on more Wilko stores.”

Poundland  has recruited 962 former Wilko staff in 70 days. (Photo supplied by Poundland)Poundland  has recruited 962 former Wilko staff in 70 days. (Photo supplied by Poundland)
Poundland has recruited 962 former Wilko staff in 70 days. (Photo supplied by Poundland)

Poundland said it expects to be able to open other new Poundlands in former Wilko stores, moving well beyond the 71 lease options it obtained from its administrator on 12 September.

Poundland has now added chilled and frozen food to 18 former Wilko stores in Barnsley (Wombwell), Brentwood, Barking, Scunthorpe Broadway, Sale, Thornaby, Hitchin, Bishop Stortford, South Shields, Nelson, Melton Mowbray, Worcester, Seaham, Maidenhead, West Ealing, Brigg, Peterborough and Leicester.

Over the last two months, Poundland has also recruited 1,200 temporary staff to work in stores across the UK and Ireland in the run-up to Christmas.

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While the majority of these shop floor roles will end on Christmas Eve, some will also be extended until early January. Poundland also confirmed it will be closing its stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Simon Wells, people director at Poundland said: “I really want to thank the Poundland team for their extraordinary efforts in making so many roles available, so quickly, to those affected by the administration of Wilko.

“We know by keeping our promise to re-open former Wilko stores in such numbers, and at such pace, we’ve made a big difference to hundreds of people.

"We’re incredibly proud that so many former Wilko team members have now chosen to continue their careers here at Poundland.”

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Last week Poundland completed the opening of 87 new stores in just 70 days with another 10 stores opening their doors for the first time.

In addition to new Poundland stores at 64 former Wilko locations, over the quarter, Poundland has also opened new stores in flagship locations such as Birmingham Fort and Watford where it has begun trading from a former John Lewis store.