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Wilko to axe 15 stores putting hundreds of jobs at risk

Home and garden retailer Wilko has proposed the closure of up to 15 stores this year, threatening more than 330 jobs with a union branding it… View Article

UK HIGH STREET NEWS

Wilko to axe 15 stores putting hundreds of jobs at risk

Home and garden retailer Wilko has proposed the closure of up to 15 stores this year, threatening more than 330 jobs with a union branding it another “nail in the high street’s coffin”.

The Nottinghamshire-headquartered company said it follows a review of the 414-strong portfolio, and does not impact on new store or store relocation programmes.

Negotiations with landlords could save some, but dates as early as next month have been given for many.

It said that as an established business with more than 90 years trading, it has many ‘legacy’ locations and has identified some outdated lease agreements.

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko chief executive, said: “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.

“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, said: “These closures are devastating for Wilko workers and the communities who use them. 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.

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

“GMB will now meet with Wilko members to discuss our next steps.”

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