Despite a recent agreement to acquire numerous Wilko stores, the troubled retailer is set to witness an additional 1,332 job losses.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the administrators overseeing the situation, recently confirmed the sale of 51 out of Wilko’s 400 stores to budget retailer B&M.

However, PwC also announced that 52 stores will be closing, resulting in the unfortunate loss of 1,016 jobs.

In addition to this, 299 employees from two distribution centres and 17 workers from Wilko’s digital operations department are also slated for redundancy.

It is worth noting that these store closures and job losses are unrelated to the B&M deal.

Approximately 24 of the affected branches are scheduled to close on Tuesday, September 12, with the remaining 28 shutting down two days later. The specific locations of these affected stores will be disclosed to the public on Wednesday.

Further redundancies

These layoffs come on top of the 269 roles already lost at Wilko’s support centre in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, along with an additional 14 positions at Wilko subsidiary Kin Limited, which were announced last week. PwC had previously hinted at further redundancies in the distribution centres, though they did not specify the number.

Edward Williams, a joint administrator at PwC, expressed regret, stating, “In the absence of viable offers for the entire business, store closures and employee layoffs have become a necessity, in addition to the previously announced layoffs at the support centre and distribution centres.” He also acknowledged the challenging circumstances and extended gratitude to all Wilko team members for their dedication and support.

What does the future look like?

A spokesperson for PwC emphasised their ongoing efforts to seek potential buyers for the remaining parts of the business.

National secretary of GMB, Andy Prendergast, expressed his members’ frustration with the mismanagement at Wilko, which, in his view, contributed to the company’s downfall. While there is still hope for a deal to save most of the branches, Prendergast emphasised the uncertainty faced by thousands of union members. GMB pledged to do everything within its power to support these employees during this challenging period.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.