Poundland's owner has struck a deal with the administrator of Wilkinson Hardware Stores to take control of up to 71 Wilko store leases.

Pepco Group, which owns the Pepco and Dealz brands in Europe as well as Poundland in the UK, noted it is taking on leases “largely" in locations in which it has limited presence.

The leases being taken on include a store in Greenock, one of 10 Wilko outlets in Scotland.

It declared the deal would complement its existing estate and allow it to bring its "most extensive ranges to a significant number of new communities”.

The lease assignments are expected to be completed in early autumn, Pepco said, “enabling these stores to join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK estate and open in the important fourth calendar quarter of 2023”.

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Pepco added: “On completion, Poundland will prioritise recruitment for roles into these stores with existing Wilko colleagues.

“Poundland intends to open these Wilko stores under its own name, bringing its fast-growing clothing, homewares, [and] chilled and frozen food ranges to aisles.”

Barry Williams, managing director of Poundland, said: “In the coming weeks we will work quickly with landlords so we can open these stores as Poundlands with the new ranges that have been pivotal to our recent development.

“And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team. We know how valued Wilko colleagues have been in scores of communities across the UK and we look forward to offering them opportunities to join our family.”

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He added: “We recognise the last few weeks have been difficult for them and we will move quickly to secure new consents from landlords so we can offer them the certainty they deserve.

“The Wilko stores will accelerate our existing transformation programme…providing growth opportunities for suppliers and supporting employment in the high streets, shopping centres and retail parks customers love.”

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Andy Bond, executive chairman of Pepco Group, said: “The agreement to assign a number of Wilko store leases to Pepco Group will help to bring Poundland’s value and wide offer to even more customers in the UK. It will be pleasing to offer employment to a number of Wilko’s colleagues - who will benefit from being part of a successful and fast-growing pan-European variety discount group.

“Pepco Group is well placed for future success across Europe.

Poundland has in recent years added whole new categories such as clothing, homewares, and chilled and frozen food to its offering.