A major high street chain looks set to close despite numerous rescue deal attempts.

Wilko in the High Street, Watford, and its 400 sister stores will cease trading by early October, the GMB union has said.

It comes after a last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal has failed.

Administrators for the chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman, of Putman Investments, over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko shops.

Watford Observer: Wilko in WatfordWilko in Watford (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Putman, founder of Putman Investments, said: “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko having worked with administrators and suppliers over several weeks to seek a viable way to rescue it as a going concern.

“We had financing in place and received the full support of PwC, Wilko management and staff representatives, which we are deeply thankful for considering what a challenging time it has been for them.

“However, commitment to overhauling the trading framework of the business with partners and the costs of running Wilko’s legacy operations infrastructure combined has meant that a stable foundation could not be secured to ensure long-term success for the business and its people in the way that we would have wanted.”

Sky News has reported that administrators from PwC are now in talks with Poundland over a potential deal to offload about 100 stores.

Other high street chains including The Range and Home Bargains have also reportedly signalled their interest over potentially buying the Wilko brand or stores.

Wilko, which employed around 12,500 staff, has already announced a £13 million deal to sell 51 shops to B&M, although the rival discounter has not agreed to take on Wilko workers as part of the deal.

Administrators have already announced more than 1,600 redundancies at Wilko in recent weeks.

This week the retailer will shut 52 shops in a move which will lead to 1,016 redundancies.

It said 24 of its shops will close on Tuesday, September 12, with a further 28 due to shut on Thursday September 14.

PwC has also announced hundreds of redundancies affecting workers at the firm’s warehouses in Worksop and Newport, as well as cuts at its support centre.

The 90-year-old retail chain tumbled into administration early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

Nadine Houghton, national officer for the GMB union, said: “Due to the incompetency of Wilko bosses the deal has now run out of time.

“If the owners had been transparent and honest, thousands of loyal Wilko workers may not now be in this awful position.

“This is another devastating blow for them, who have seen their lives and futures gambled on the whims of millionaires and billionaires.

“Wilko bosses should be ashamed that this once great family business now appears to be beyond saving.”

Update: PwC, the administrator who was hired to oversee Wilko’s sale, has confirmed that all Wilko stores will close by the beginning of October.

Staff at 124 Wilko stores were informed today that their place of work will close on, or before, Thursday, September 21.

The locations of these stores and their final dates of trading are detailed below.

The following 38 stores will close on Sunday, September 17 with final day for employees on Tuesday, September 19:

Accrington, Ashington, Blackwood, Bognor Regis, Bradford, Bury St Edmunds, Coalville, Crawley, Droylsden, Ellesmere Port, Falkirk, Ferndown, Hanley, Humberstone, Huyton, Kensington High Street, Kings Heath, Lakeside, Leigh, Letchworth, Maidenhead, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Newport, Orpington, Pontefract, Pontypool, Redruth, Rugeley, Shirley, Southport, Sovereign Harbour, Torquay, Wimbledon, Wombwell, Woodhouse Lane - Leeds, Worcester, Workington.

The next 38 stores will close on Tuesday, September 19 with final day for employees on Wednesday, September 20:

Aberdare, Alfreton, Ashby, Barnstaple, Belper, Beverley, Blackheath, Brigg, Byker, Chepstow, Clifton Nottingham, Colindale, Devizes, Didcot, Earlestown, East Ham, Great Bridge, Greenbridge, Grimsby, Hessle Road - Hull, Jarrow, Kimberley, Leighton Buzzard, Long Eaton, Maesteg, Matlock, Middleton, Newton Abbot, Redcar, Ripley, Seaham, Sherwood, Stamford, Stevenage, Swanley, Tamworth, Wrexham, Wythenshawe.

Another 48 stores will close on Thursday, September 21 with final day for employees on Friday, September 22:

Allestree, Andover, Bedford, Beeston, Bicester, Bloxwich, Bolton, Bordon, Bransholme, Bridgend, Bury, Carlton, Clacton on Sea, Cramlington, Crewe, Cwmbran, Cyfarthfa, Denton, Driffield, Droitwich, Edmonton Green, Farnborough, Fort Kinnaird, Fulham, Gateshead, Gorleston, Grays, Greenock, Havant, Hereford, Hillsborough, Holyhead, Newton Aycliffe, Northampton, Orton, Parc Trostre Llanelli, Penge, Peterlee, Pwllheli, Shrewsbury, Slough, Swindon, Tamworth Retail Park, Taunton, Walton on Thames, Wheatley Retail Park, Wigan, Wolverhampton

Timings for the closure of the remaining 222 stores will be announced in due course.