Wilko set to close 15 stores this year, threatening 100s of jobs

Wilko store in high street
Wilko is planning to close 15 stores this year, putting hundreds of jobs on the line.
// Wilko will be closing 15 stores this year as leases come to an end
// Hundreds of jobs will potentially be lost, despite efforts to relocate staff

Wilko is planning to close 15 stores this year as leases come to an end and favourable terms cannot be agreed, putting hundreds of jobs on the line.

The high street chain said the store closures would not affect any planned new openings or its ongoing stores relocation programme.

“Our history is steeped in serving our customers and communities going back to 1930, but there’s no denying the way people shop with us and where they want to shop with us is changing,” said Wilko’s chief executive Jerome Saint-Marc.

The GMB union described the announcement as “another nail in the high street’s coffin”, amid fears that hundreds of jobs would be lost.

Read more: Wilko: “Challenging retail landscape” leads to £107m sales loss

Saint-Marc added that Wilko will be doing everything it can to support affected team members, who will be offered available positions in nearby stores.

“We apologise to those communities where stores are closing but will continue to offer them everything they need in nearby stores or via wilko.com.”

“As a business we’re evolving and this includes working with landlords for more favourable terms, as well as looking at locations and store formats.

“We’ll continue to pull together to make our business better to secure the future of over 16,000 team members.”

Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, described the closures as “devastating”, both for Wilko staff and the communities who use the stores.

“It’s yet another nail in the high street’s coffin and GMB calls on councils and landlords to review commercial leases and offer lower rents,” he said.

“Empty high streets and shopping centres are in no one’s interest, but with 400 shops a week closing, this is inevitable, unless the costs of premises can be reduced.”

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  1. Bournemouth, Stockton, Shipley, The Fort, Scunthorpe, Narborough Road, Grantham, Redditch, Rotherham, Skegness, Sutton Coldfield, Orpington, Edmonton Green, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil and Cleethorpes.

  2. Bournemouth
    The Fort
    Narborough Road
    Sutton Coldfield
    Edmonton Green
    Merthyr Tydfil

  3. Wilko’s is badly managed. They could cut the store sizes in half and they still couldn’t fill them as they have had stock problems caused by cash flow problems for years.


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