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All 400 Wilko stores to close by early October says union

todaySeptember 11, 2023

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All 400 Wilko stores to close by early October, says union

All of Wilko’s 400 stores are set to close by early October, the GMB union has said.

It means redundancies now look likely for all 12,500 staff at the high-street chain.

The GMB union, which represents more than 3,000 Wilko staff, revealed the damning update after a meeting with the retailer’s administrators on Monday morning.

The union said on Monday that Wilko’s warehouses in Worksop and Newport are now both due to close on Friday September 15.

It added that a further 124 stores are due to close next week, with these set to shut between September 19 and September 21.

The retailer had already confirmed that 52 stores would shut this week, leading to 1,016 redundancies, with hundreds of other job losses across the business.

It comes after a last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal for the retailer collapsed.

Administrators for the high street chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman, who bought the entertainment chain in 2019, over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko shops.

GMB said the failure to secure a deal meant that remaining offers on the table are only likely to purchase a number of Wilko store properties, and are not expected to include workers.

PwC, who are overseeing the administration, has already agreed a roughly £13 million deal to sell up to 51 Wilko stores to rival B&M.

Fellow discount retailer Poundland is still in talks with PwC in an attempt to snap up around 100 shops, according to Sky News.

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

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: “This isn’t a tragedy without cause. Wilko should have thrived in a bargain retail sector that is otherwise strong, but it was run into the ground by the business owners.

“Money was siphoned out of the business for dividends, warnings about what needed to be done to save the business were not heeded and advice around what the business had to do to thrive was not listened to.

“No worker caused the downfall of Wilko. But they will be the ones who will suffer – all as the owners get off scot-free.

“GMB will not stop campaigning for the owners of this debacle to be held to account.”

Wilko entered administration early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “This is heartbreaking news for staff and their families who have been holding out hope of a deal that would protect their jobs.

“Sadly, shuttered-up shops have become the norm under the Conservatives who have weakened the foundations of our economy with local high streets paying the price.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Written by: admin

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Wilko rescue hopes fade as talks with HMV owner collapse

A last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal for stricken retailer Wilko has failed. Administrators for the high street chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman, who owns the entertainment retailer, over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko shops. However, the PA news agency understands that these talks have now collapsed, intensifying fears over the future of thousands of jobs. In a statement […]

todaySeptember 11, 2023

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