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The Majority Of Wilko Stores To Close Next Week

Wilko large store sign Ceri Breeze shutterstock_1077137954

The majority of Wilko stores are to close in the next week after a purchase of the discount retailer fell through.  

In a meeting with administrators today [Wednesday] GMB Union was informed there is no longer any prospect that the majority of the business will be saved. 

This means redundancies for staff in store and at call centres will begin during the coming week.  

In a letter to Wilko staff, GMB Union said: 

"At a meeting today we were informed that the sale of a significant part of the business to a buyer has fallen through. This means that there is no longer any prospect that the majority of the business will be saved.

"For staff at the Support Centre and at the Distribution Centres (DCs), this means that redundancies will start over the coming week prior to closures at some point very soon based on progress around any store programme.

"For staff in stores there remains a possibility that some might be bought, either individually or as part of larger packages. However, we must advise that we now expect significant redundancies amongst store staff albeit the timing of this is uncertain.

"In the meantime, stores will continue to trade, and staff will continue to be paid. The redundancy process has commenced for staff in the DC’s and Support Centre as their operations reduce in line with any store programme.

"GMB will continue to support members through this process and will fight to ensure that members are consulted as per the law and that you receive every penny you are entitled to. We will not forget the incompetence that has led to this collapse, and we will not forget the dividends paid to the millionaires who gambled your jobs on their whims. We will fight to ensure they are held accountable for the simple reason you deserved so much better.

"We will update you further over coming days."

Potential Buyers For Some Sites

Sky News reports that Pepco Group - the owner of Poundland - and B&M European Value Retail are in discussion with PwC to acquire about 150 of Wilko's 400 stores between them.

Pepco Group is thought to be interested in around 100 stores while B&M is believed to be considering 40-50 stores. 

The Original Factory Shop (TOFS) is understood to have offered to acquire around ten stores. 

PwC is expected to make a statement tomorrow.

Image : Ceri Breeze / (1077137954)

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23 August 2023

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