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Wickes understood to be planning closure of Hemel distribution depot

Insiders at Hemel Hempstead’s Wickes Distribution depot say they have been told that 180 staff face redundancy and the site will close in November.

Hemeltoday had previously reported that staff were worried about their jobs because the lease on the Swallowdale Lane base runs out later this year.

But bosses at the trade and DIY firm refused to be pressed on the subject.

A worker said a staff meeting was held at 10.30am this morning when the redundancy plans were announced.

He said: “We were expecting it. We knew the real story was that it was closing.”

A spokesman for Wickes has now spoken to the newspaper and said: “Delivering value for money products and services to our customers has never been more important, as the retail trading environment in which we operate continues to be very challenging. We have aligned our business to meet the demands of our customers by improving availability, introducing inventory reduction programmes and maximising the efficiency of our operations.

“Our supply chain operations are an integral part of our business, and we frequently review our distribution network to ensure that we are doing all we can to deliver those improvements. In light of this review, and as the lease on our building expires in November 2013, we are discussing with our employees the possibility of closing our operation at Swallowdale Lane and relocating the activity to an existing facility in Northampton.

“All current employees will be offered reasonable alternative employment at this location.

“We fully understand the impact this proposed decision will have on those affected, and we will be supporting them fully throughout this difficult time.”

The original story, published on January 25th follows:

“Closure? It’s just a rumour that’s got out of control"

A warehouse worker for Hemel Hempstead’s Wickes Distribution has dismissed claims that the base will close as ‘simply rumours’.

David Hardy got in touch after reading an article last week in the HeraldExpress’s sister paper The Gazette.

It revealed that some workers are worried for their jobs because they believe that the lease on the Swallowdale Lane centre will not be renewed in November.

David said: “The rumours have been flying around since before Christmas. Half the people have been saying it is definitely going but nothing has been said by management that it is going.

“There are a lot of people in here saying that it’s going but they don’t know, it’s a rumour that has got out of control.”

A spokesman for Wickes refused to be pressed on the matter saying: “We’re communicating with our employees directly.”

Source :

04 February 2013
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