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Wilko Plans Over 400 Job Cuts


The Guardian has reported that Wilko is to cut over 400 jobs across the business as it fights to reduce costs.

Store and head office staff, including assistant store managers, retail supervisors and head office management roles are understood to be affected by the cuts, as well as 95 employees in Wilko's Worksop, Nottinghamshire contact centre who will lose their jobs later this month, when their roles are outsourced to a South African business.   

A staff member told the publication that, “sales remain poor and rumours are rife about the future of the business”.

Mark Jackson, the chief executive of Wilko, told The Guardian: “We’ve identified significant changes to the Wilko operating model to enable us to stabilise the business and then thrive again. This includes some proposed changes to our management structure at both our stores and head office.

“We’re fully supporting affected individuals. We know change will be unsettling to our team members and the wider business, and we’re acting swiftly to put in place the new organisational structure to stabilise and grow.”

Nadine Houghton of GMB Union, which is consulting with Wilko, said: “Wilko is going through significant changes at the moment and ultimately the business is in a fight for survival,”

“We are seeing continued and increasing job losses throughout the retail sector and this is something that warrants an urgent, strategic response from the government.”

In November 2022, Wilko reported annual losses and 30% less footfall in its high street stores since before lockdown. Suppliers were told before Christmas that while the business was debt free, it was unable to pay upfront for orders, resulting in some suppliers halting deliveries.

It was announced in late November that CEO Alison Hands was to leave the business, and then in January of this year, Wilko secured £40 million in funding from Hilco and appointed a new CEO designate: Mark Jackson, formerly CEO of Benson’s for Beds. 

Wilko employs approximately 16,000 staff and operates 401 stores across the UK.

Source : Insight DIY Team with quotes from The Guardian

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16 February 2023

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