Lidl has become the latest retailer to set its sights on vacant Wilko stores, as the grocer looks to open 1,100 shops by the end of 2025.
Lidl boss Ryan McDonnell told Retail Week that the retailer’s property team is in very close contact with Wilko’s administrator PwC.
He said that while no deals with PwC were finalised, Lidl was “certainly always interested” in properties that meet its requirements.
The retailer, which current operates over 960 stores in the UK, opened 50 supermarkets in the year to 28 February 2023, more than any of its rivals. This heavy investment, combined with a commitment to lower prices, meant the retailer posted a £76m loss during the same period.
Wilko fell into administration in August after a difficult post-Pandemic period saw lower footfalls and a decline in consumer spending due to the cost-of-living crisis. At the time, it employed over 12,500 members of staff.
A deal was agreed recently which sees rival retailer The Range has take control of Wilko’s brand, however its stores are still set to close.
This came after Pepco announced an agreement to take on the leases of up to 71 Wilko stores to convert to its Poundland brand.
Rival chain B&M had also acquired over 50 stores from Wilko in a £13m deal, although did not specify which ones.