‘Popped into B&M for a few things and left with 51 Wilko stores, happens to the best of us’: B&M sparks backlash over social media joke about £13m takeover of high street chain as 12,000 jobs remain at risk
- Wilko is currently in administration and thousands are facing the axe as a result
- But B&M Bargains seemed to make light of the situation in a now deleted post
B&M Bargains has stoked outrage after apparently joking about taking over Wilko stores as thousands still face the sack.
High-street chain Wilko is currently in administration as 52 stores are to be shut and 1,332 people are being made redundant.
Also, more than 12,000 jobs still remain at risk despite rival B&M buying 51 of its 400 stores for £13million.
But B&M seemingly made light of the situation in a now-deleted Facebook post.
They said: ‘Popped into B&M for a few things and left with 51 Wilko stores.
‘Happens to the best of us.’
The Facebook post has since been deleted but many people reacted angrily and claimed they would boycott the store
High-street chain Wilko is currently in administration as 52 stores are to be shut and 1,332 people are being made redundant
Although some people reacted with a laughing smiley emoji, a lot of people were angered by the post.
Marc Fletcher said: ‘Christ B&M, people have lost their jobs and are on the brink of unemployment and this?
Murray Harris said: ‘Well B&M, aren’t you such a lovely lot 12,500 jobs on the line and you think this is funny. Glad I don’t work for you lot.’
Matthew Quinney said: ‘Absolutely disgraceful post!’
Some people have claimed they will boycott the store after the Facebook post.
Mail Online contacted B&M Bargains for comment.
Wilko, which sells everything from hardware goods to cleaning products, toys and gardening equipment, went into administration last month, with insolvency experts from PwC trying to hammer out a rescue deal in recent weeks.
B&M could potentially save some people from losing their job but more than 12,000 people still face the axe
Hopes that the chain might be saved appeared to have been extinguished last week when a bid by the boss of HMV to purchase 300 stores stalled over funding issues, putting some 12,500 jobs at risk.
But B&M’s last-ditch purchase is expected to have saved a substantial number of employees from the axe – although it has not yet been confirmed which of Wilko’s stores will be rescued by the sale.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at the financial services giant Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Wilko’s collapse is B&M’s gain, given that the successful value retailer had made no secret of wanting to open more shops across the UK.
‘The soon-to-be vacant premises were easy pickings for B&M and it is likely that the retailer has been ultra-choosy when it comes to cherry-picking locations.
‘Part of B&M’s successful model is its significant footprint in easy-to-access retail parks, so stores where it’s easy to load up a car are likely to be in high numbers in the deal.
‘A good chunk of positions should be salvaged, but B&M is likely to want to run a highly efficient ship to squeeze as much profit out of the floorspace.’
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