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Wilko administrators warn of more job losses

Wilko store

Administrators overseeing the troubled retail chain Wilko have warned of more job losses as 52 stores are set to close next week.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently revealed that over 1,300 Wilko employees will lose their jobs and more are likely if a rescue bid fails.

Read More: Wilko Confirms 1,300 Job Losses With 52 Store Closures 

PwC said it remains “committed to doing all we can to help affected staff.” 

Edward Williams, joint administrator at PwC, said: "Active discussions with interested parties in buying parts of the business continue, and the administrators remain committed to preserving as many jobs as possible. 

“However, depending on the outcome of those talks, it is possible that further store closures may regrettably be necessary.”

Wilko, which currently operates 408 stores and employs nearly 12,500 people, confirmed 52 stores would close the following week, resulting in the loss of 1,016 jobs. 

The company will also eliminate 299 positions at its two large warehouses in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and Newport, Wales.

Read More: Wilko Rival B&M Buys 51 Stores As HMV Rescue Collapses

An additional 17 job redundancies in its support centre, affecting those working in digital operations.

In a separate development, discount chain B&M announced its purchase of 51 Wilko stores for up to £13 million. 

However, this deal only pertains to acquiring store premises, raising concerns about potential job losses among Wilko staff. 

Under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment rights (Tupe), there is no guarantee that Wilko workers will transition to the new B&M-operated stores.

The GMB union is investigating whether Wilko staff might receive preferential treatment when applying for new B&M jobs rather than being made redundant when existing Wilko stores close.

Read More: Wilko Store Rescue Faces Uncertainty Over Supplier Debt 

HMV owner talks continue

PwC continues negotiations with Doug Putman, who successfully revived HMV in the UK and owns Toys R Us in Canada.

It hopes to preserve up to 300 Wilko stores and safeguard most of its 12,000-plus workforce. 

However, Putnam's deal faces uncertainty as major suppliers, including Unilever and Procter & Gamble, demand immediate debt repayment to continue supplying Wilko stores.

PwC is also discussing potential store rescues with other interested parties, including Poundland, Home Bargains, and The Range.

They maintain an obligation to protect the interests of creditors, including Hilco, owed £40 million.

PwC's Williams added: “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.

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“The loss of these stores will be felt not only by the team members who served them with such dedication, including through the uncertainty of recent weeks, but also the communities which they have been a part of.”

The 24 Wilko stores to close on 12 September

  • Acton
  • Aldershot
  • Barking
  • Bishop Auckland
  • Bletchley FF
  • Brownhills
  • Camberley
  • Cardiff Bay Retail Park
  • Falmouth
  • Harpurhey
  • Irvine
  • Liverpool
  • Edge Lane
  • Llandudno
  • Lowestoft
  • Morley
  • Nelson
  • Port Talbot
  • Putney
  • Stafford
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Wakefield
  • Weston-super-Mare
  • Westwood Cross
  • Winsford

The 28 Wilko stores to close on the 14 September

  • Ashford
  • Avonmeads
  • Banbury
  • Barrow in Furness
  • Basildon
  • Belle Vale
  • Burnley (Relocation)
  • Clydebank
  • Cortonwood
  • Dagenham
  • Dewsbury
  • Eccles
  • Folkestone
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Hammersmith
  • Huddersfield
  • Morriston
  • New Malden
  • North Shields
  • Queen Street Cardiff
  • Rhyl
  • Southampton-West Quay
  • St Austell
  • Stockport
  • Truro
  • Uttoxeter
  • Walsall
  • Woking

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