Wilko has gone into administration – putting 12,000 jobs at risk.
It comes after Sky News revealed earlier on Thursday the retail chain was only hours away from insolvency.
In a statement, CEO Mark Jackson said: “We’ve all fought hard to keep this incredible business intact but must concede that time has run out and now, we must do what’s best to preserve as many jobs as possible, for as long as is possible, by working with our appointed administrators.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed as the administrator.
The threat has been hanging over Wilko for weeks, and intensified last Thursday when the company filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, giving it 10 working days of protection from creditors.
The 93-year-old chain suspended home deliveries on Wednesday as it raced to avoid collapse.
Like many high street retailers, Wilko has been hit by inflationary pressures and supply chain challenges.
But last month a spokesperson for the company described talk of administration as “unfounded”.