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Wilko: 170 head office jobs at risk

Value retailer Wilko has put 170 head office staff – a quarter of the total at its Worksop base – into a consultation likely to lead to job cuts.

Wilko, which rebranded from Wilkinson in April, declined to comment on exact numbers but confirmed that the consultation involves a “number of departments at all levels” as it aims to restructure in a “changing retail landscape”.

Wilko has suffered two years of sales declines and last year pre-tax profits were flat at £27.6m. The retailer has faced increasingly tough competition in recent years as rivals including Poundland and B&M Bargains expand aggressively.

A Wilko spokesman said: “This ongoing programme is essential to maintaining Wilko’s unique place as a modern, national retailer. We have to ensure we have the right people in the right places to keep the business moving forward.

“New technologies, processes and ways of working have led us to identify certain posts which are no longer appropriate to our focus on variety, value, choice, quality and customer service.”

The consultation is expected to conclude by April and redundancies are expected.

The latest initiative follows a restructure in October 2013 that was designed to realign the business for a multichannel future.

The Wilko spokesman added: “Like all businesses, Wilko continually reviews its resources in order to ensure it has the right business structure in the changing retail landscape.

“The proposed changes will allow it to react quickly in the fast-moving retail environment by ensuring its structures and cost base are in line with its trading performance and the market place.”

Wilko maintained it “remains financially robust in a challenging trading environment”.

The retailer trades through 375 stores and its website.

Source : Retail Week

23 October 2014

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