Wilko to cut 1,332 more jobs and shut 52 stores next week

Wilko to cut 1,332 more jobs and shut 52 stores next week

Administrators for Wilko have announced 1,332 further job cuts at the stricken high street retailer.

PwC, which was hired to oversee the collapsed discounter’s administration last month, told unions that 52 stores will be shut, leading to 1,016 redundancies.

It added that 24 of these sites will close on Tuesday September 12, and the remaining 28 will be closed two days later.

The locations of the stores affected are due to be announced on Wednesday, after workers have been informed.

Undated handout photo issued by B&M of their Montpellier store
B&M has agreed to buy up to 51 Wilko shops (B&M/PA)

Meanwhile, there will be a further 299 redundancies across two warehouse sites in Worksop and Newark.

There will be a further 17 redundancies affecting support centre staff working on Wilko’s digital operations.

These redundancies are in addition to the 269 announced last week.

The administrators said they are continuing to “explore all interest in the remainder of the business and are actively working with potential buyers”.

It is understood that PwC has held talks with HMV owner Doug Putman around a potential deal to buy a significant number of the remaining stores.

The announcement comes hours after rival B&M confirmed it would buy up to 51 Wilko stores for around £13 million.

Edward Williams, joint administrator at PwC, said: “In the absence of viable offers for the whole business, very sadly store closures and redundancies of team members from those stores are now necessary, in addition to the already announced redundancies at the support centre and distribution centres.

“We know this has been a deeply unsettling time for everyone concerned and would like to express our gratitude to all Wilko team members for the dedication and support they have continued to give the business in the most trying of circumstances.”

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: “Every single redundancy is a person who will wake up facing an uncertain future. This needs to be on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“The reality is years of mismanagement have led us here.

“We are still doing everything we can secure a deal that would protect the majority of jobs and stores. But this will be of little comfort for those not knowing how they’ll pay their bills.”