A branch of the discount retail homeware store Wilko is seen in London, Britain, August 3, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

London - British homeware discount chain Wilko has collapsed into administration, a form of creditor protection that puts its 12,000 jobs in danger, it said on Thursday.

"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," Wilko boss Mark Jackson said.

The retailer, which sells everything from hardware goods to cleaning products and toys, trades from about 400 stores across the UK and has an annual turnover of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.53 billion).

It is Britain's biggest retail casualty since convenience store chain McColl's in May last year. McColl's was subsequently bought by supermarket group Morrisons.

Wilko, which started as a single hardware store in Leicester, central England, in 1930, is the first major retail victim of Britain's tougher economy, which has been hit by 14 consecutive interest rate rises since December 2021.