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Jobs Cannot Be Saved At 52 Wilko Stores

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Wilko Announces Closure of 52 Stores and Loss of Over 1,300 Jobs

Staff are shocked that a last-minute rescue plan has so far failed with news that 52 Wilko stores will close with the loss of 1,300 jobs.

 

The popular home and hardware retailer, Wilko, is facing a major crisis as it collapses into administration, putting more than 400 stores and 12,500 jobs at risk. Administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have confirmed that 52 Wilko stores will be closed, resulting in the loss of over 1,300 jobs.

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This devastating news has sent shockwaves through the retail industry and has left employees uncertain about their future.

There are fears that the brand or the stores cannot be saved which could have a huge knock-on effect for local businesses.

The Wilko brand has always been popular on the high street in areas such as Skegness, Grimsby, Lincoln, Manchester, Liverpool, and Nottingham. With Wilko stores closing, it could result in boarded-up stores and fewer reasons for consumers to visit their local high street.

PwC has revealed that the first round of store closures will commence next week, with 24 branches set to shut their doors on September 12. The remaining 28 stores earmarked for closure will follow suit two days later. These closures will inevitably lead to 1,016 redundancies, leaving many employees facing an uncertain future.

In addition to the store closures, there will be a further 299 job losses at Wilko’s two warehouses and an additional 17 redundancies at its support centre. The GMB Union has expressed its concern for the affected employees, emphasizing that every redundancy represents a person grappling with an uncertain financial situation.

The collapse of Wilko has been attributed to years of mismanagement, which has ultimately led to this dire situation. The GMB Union holds the company accountable for its current state, highlighting the consequences of poor decision-making and lack of strategic planning. The administrators at PwC have stated that the closure of stores and subsequent redundancies are necessary due to the absence of viable offers for the entire business.

Edward Williams, joint administrator at PwC, acknowledges the unsettling nature of the situation and expresses gratitude to all Wilko team members for their dedication and support during these challenging circumstances. However, the reality remains that store closures and job losses are inevitable in order to salvage what is left of the struggling company.

The closure of Wilko stores and the resulting job losses have created a sense of uncertainty and anxiety among the affected employees. Many individuals are now left wondering how they will pay their bills and secure future employment. The GMB Union continues to work tirelessly to secure a deal that would protect the majority of jobs and stores, but the outcome remains uncertain.

In a glimmer of hope, it has been announced that discount retailer B&M will purchase up to 51 Wilko stores in a deal worth £13 million. However, the specific stores involved in the acquisition and the number of jobs that will be saved have not yet been confirmed. It is believed that these stores will be rebranded as B&M outlets, potentially providing some employment opportunities for affected staff.

The administrators at PwC are still in discussions with other potential suitors, including Poundland, Home Bargains, and The Range, in an effort to save additional Wilko stores. The fate of the remaining stores is currently under scrutiny, and PwC is working diligently to explore all possible options and secure the best outcome for creditors and employees alike.

The potential deal by Doug Putman, the owner of HMV and a successful turnaround specialist, is currently hanging in the balance. Putman aims to save as many as 300 Wilko stores, offering a lifeline to the majority of the company’s 12,000-plus staff. However, the suppliers of Wilko, including major brands like Unilever and Procter & Gamble, have raised concerns and are demanding repayment of their debts before committing to continued supply.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that some suppliers have already cancelled shipments to Wilko’s stores, and it may take up to six weeks for them to resume product deliveries if a solution is reached. The GMB Union is closely monitoring developments and continues to engage with PwC to ensure the best possible outcome for the affected employees.

 

 

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