MORE than £1.25million is owed by Wilko to Essex-based businesses, it has been revealed.

A statement of affairs submitted to Companies House confirms 14 businesses based in the county are owed £1,259,327 by the collapsed retailer.

Propet, an Austrian pet food wholesaler whose UK operation has been registered in Great Bentley since 2008, is the firm's biggest creditor in Essex with an outstanding debt of more than £450,000.

Wilko stores across Essex, including in Clacton, Colchester, Southend, and Basildon, have all closed in recent weeks as administrators at PwC continue to wind down the business.

Gazette: Empty - the shelves were bare on the Colchester store's final day of tradingEmpty - the shelves were bare on the Colchester store's final day of trading (Image: Newsquest)

Essex businesses owed money by Wilko

PwC has listed these businesses among Wilko's trade creditors:

  • Propet, Great Bentley - £452,047
  • EGL Homecare, Shoebury - £270,087
  • E T Browne, Loughton - £155,746
  • Totes Isotoner, Billericay - £115,458
  • Summit International, Basildon - £104,064
  • PMS International Group, Basildon - £51,376
  • High Court Writ Recovery, Waltham Abbey - £42,742
  • Opal BPM, Southend - £35,760
  • Werner UK Sales and Distribution, Maldon - £16,831
  • Thames Technology, Rayleigh - £6,901
  • UK Glassforce, Hockley - £4,942
  • TRI Contracting Services, Grays - £2,818
  • JPG Europe, Southend - £355
  • Colchester Business Against Crime, Colchester - £200

What happened to Wilko?

The 93-year-old discount retailer has been shutting its 400 UK stores over the past month after tumbling into administration in August.

The final 41 stores closed at the end of trading last Sunday – but not before some disappointed customers had visited one last time.

The store’s collapse brings to a close one of the largest high street failures in recent years, with almost all of Wilko’s 12,500 workers being made redundant.

Gazette: Closed - Wilko, in St John's Walk, ColchesterClosed - Wilko, in St John's Walk, Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

Wilko, founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester in 1930, hired administrators from PwC after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

PwC held talks with interested firms but was unable to secure a rescue deal for the whole firm, with a potential takeover by HMV owner Doug Putman collapsing.

As a result, administrators sold off a raft of the company’s assets in order to pay off creditors.

Deals were agreed to sell up to 71 stores to Poundland and to sell up to 51 shops to fellow rival discounter B&M.

However, both deals did not include staff.

Last week, Poundland said it had offered jobs to more than 200 former Wilko workers and has already reopened 20 of these sites under its brand.

However, the Times has reported that some of the store takeovers could fail after the new owners were accused of delaying completion amid efforts to set up new rent and lease arrangements with more favourable terms.

The Wilko brand will not disappear from the high street completely despite the collapse, after The Range struck a deal to buy its brand, website, and intellectual property for £5million.

The Range said it will sell Wilko products “in-store”, although it is currently not expected to set up standalone Wilko shops.

It will restart home deliveries through after the closure of the remaining stores.

PwC was approached for comment.