East London's Wilko stores have moved a step closer to disappearing from the high street after the budget retailer collapsed into administration.

The home and hardware chain, which employs around 12,000 people, entered administration today (August 10).

It has seven east London shops: Romford, East Ham, Walthamstow, Dagenham, Ilford, Barking and Stratford.

Mark Jackson, Wilko's chief executive officer, said the firm had “a significant level of interest” but was “left with no choice but to take this unfortunate action” after being unable to close a deal in time.

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Wilko, which runs more than 400 UK stores, told staff today that it has hired administrators from PwC, a multinational professional services provider, to oversee the process.

“We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration," Mr Jackson added.

Additional reporting by PA.