&M has bought 51 Wilko shops for £13 million after the firm collapsed into administration.
It comes amid reports that a larger rescue deal, from HMV owner Doug Putnam, hit a snag, meaning a large number of stores may be forced to close.
Redundancies began at Wilko’s head offices yesterday, with warehouse staff also set to lose their jobs this week, as there were no bids on the table that included Wilko’s support staff.
However, this deal ensures that a number of shop staff will still be able to keep their jobs.
B&M said it would pay for the shops via cash reserves. It did not reveal which shops were included.
Administrators at PwC took over Wilko last month, after attempts to sell the entire business failed.
According to Sky News, Putnam is still in talks about buying as many as 200 shops, but this is less than the 300 he had originally hoped to buy.
Wilko has 400 shops in total, employing around 12,000 people.
More to follow