Wilko shuts first stores as administration unfolds

Wilko shuts first stores as administration unfolds

Wilko will shut its first group of shops on Tuesday as the dramatic collapse of the high street chain takes shape.

The historic retailer will shut 24 stores across the UK in the first phase of closures, with hundreds of workers at the shops set for redundancy.

It comes a day after administrators confirmed all the group’s remaining shop, warehouse and support centre workers are set to lose their jobs.

Family-owned Wilko employed 12,500 staff and ran 400 shops before it hired administrators early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

All its stores have continued to trade in recent weeks as it has worked through remaining stock, with the retailer discounting thousands of products.

Last week PwC confirmed that a number of shops would have to close for good after they were unable to secure a deal which would buy all of the firm’s shops.

It later confirmed that 52 shops were earmarked for closure after they were not targeted by potential buyers for parts of the retail business.

The first phase of closures will take place on Tuesday as a result, with 24 stores serving customers for their final day before shutting for good.

A further 28 shops will shut after trading on Thursday.

These closures will result in 1,016 redundancies, while administrators have also announced hundreds of other job cuts impacting warehouse and support centre staff.

A further 124 shops will shut for good next week as the process continues, with the final 222 stores all due to close by early October.

PwC said the firm’s warehouse will shut on Friday, with final support centre workers leaving in early October as operations completely unwind.

Administrators are still in talks over deals to sell store properties, but are shutting down sites after failing to find a suitor who would take them on as Wilko shops and retain their staff.

Here are the 24 shops set to shut their doors on Tuesday:

Acton, London
Aldershot, Hampshire
Barking, London
Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Bletchley, Milton Keynes
Brownhills, Walsall
Camberley, Surrey
Cardiff Bay Retail Park
Falmouth, Cornwall
Harpurhey, Manchester
Irvine, North Ayrshire
Liverpool Edge Lane
Llandudno, Wales
Lowestoft, Suffolk
Morley, Leeds
Nelson, Lancashire
Port Talbot, Wales
Putney, London
Stafford, Staffordshire
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Wakefield, 121 Kirkgate
Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
Westwood Cross Retail Park, Broadstairs, Kent
Winsford, Cheshire