Struggling homeware retailer Wilko has suspended home deliveries as it teeters on the brink of collapse.
The company said on its website that home delivery was “temporarily unavailable” but that products could still be ordered by click-and-collect.
Wilko has filed a notice to appoint administrators as it races to raise the cash it needs to keep going.
There have been reports of a potential rescue deal, but the firm has not commented on the speculation.
The homeware chain, which has 408 stores across the UK, is well known for its affordable everyday items.
If the High Street stalwart goes under, some 12,000 jobs could be at risk.
Announcing its plan to appoint administrators last week, the firm said it had 10 working days to strike a rescue deal. The deadline is 17 August.
Chief executive Mark Jackson has said the company continues to talk to interested parties about options for the business.
He said he hoped to find a solution as quickly as possible to “preserve the business”.
Wilko is struggling after sharp losses left it short of cash. It has already borrowed £40m from the restructuring specialist Hilco, cut jobs, rejigged its leadership team and sold off a distribution centre.
The company, which was founded in 1930 in Leicester, is still owned by the Wilkinson family.
The retailer stepped into the High Street gap left by the collapse of Woolworths in late 2008, but has struggled over the past decade partly due to growing competition from the likes of Poundland and B&M.
It is also lagging behind Poundland, Home Bargains and The Range.
Some experts question whether Wilko has too many stores across the UK. Many of its shops are in High Street locations in traditional town centres.
But while these locations are convenient for shoppers without cars, since the pandemic there’s been a shift to bigger retail parks and out-of-town options with more space.
Charles Allen, retail analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, told the BBC last week that the locations of Wilko stores had been a bit of a turn-off for some customers.
“B&M has also moved many of its locations to retail parks which are more convenient for many consumers, especially when they are buying bulky goods.”
Source: BBC News