The sale of Pre-Pack administration follows the appointment of Interpath Advisory’s Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden as joint administrators of Wilkies Limited.
Wilkies is a family-run men’s, women’s and women’s fashion and home goods retailer with origins dating back to 1898. The company is headquartered in Edinburgh, employs 95 people and operates from 11 offices in cities across Scotland.
Administrators said the company is facing trading challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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“Unfortunately, sales at some locations failed to recover to pre-pandemic levels, which combined with rising labor and energy costs meant the company suffered significant losses,” administrators said.
In recent months, directors have tried to explore options, including selling the company, but have been unable to find a viable solution. Directors “thus made the difficult decision to seek the appointment of Administrators.”
Immediately upon their appointment, the joint administrators sold six of the company’s branches to a new company, Wilkies Trading Limited.
The six stores include those in Largs, Castle Douglas, Peebles, Perth, Ballater and Helensburgh. In the course of the transaction, a total of 55 employees were transferred to the buyer.
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Five stores were not included in the transaction, four of which will be closed with immediate effect: in Edinburgh, North Berwick, Hamilton and Falkirk. A total of 30 employees were laid off as a result of these closures.
The stewards continue trading with the Kirkcaldy store for a short time to sell inventory not sold as part of the transaction.
Ten employees have been taken on by the administration while the store continues to operate.
Mr Nimmo said: “Shopping streets remain under significant pressure, with another retail crash being caused by a combination of shoppers migrating to supermarket and online retail, and severe cost pressures, particularly from labor and energy prices. ”
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Mr McAlinden said: “Wilkies is a household name to many so we are delighted to have been able to secure this deal which will ensure the brand continues to be a part of the high street in Scotland.” were able to secure 55 jobs as a result of the transaction. We wish the new owners every success.”
Karen Forret, Managing Director of Wilkies Limited said: “We are proud to keep the Wilkies brand alive and to have saved as many jobs as possible.”
“Business rates in Scotland are almost 75% higher than anywhere else in the UK, but we believe our high streets still have so much to offer and are vital to our communities and our economy.”
“We are passionate about continuing to promote this great Scottish brand and opening our doors to customers in the high streets of Largs, Castle Douglas, Peebles, Perth, Ballater and Helensburgh.”
Wilkies Trading has said it will accept store credit and gift vouchers at its six branches. The option is not available to customers in the Kircaldy store, where the joint custodians sell the stock that has not been transferred to the buyer.