Wilko Shutdown: Jobs on the Line as Iconic Retailer Falters
Wilko Shutdown: Jobs on the ...
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Wilko Shutdown: Jobs on the Line as Iconic Retailer Falters

12 September 2023
2 min.
Wilko Shutdown: Jobs on the Line as Iconic Retailer Falters

Wilko Crisis

Wilko has begun shutting its first group of stores today, marking a pivotal moment in the high street chain's ongoing turmoil.

Administrators from PwC recently confirmed that all Wilko retail stores will cease operations by early October, following the failure of a rescue deal.

The process of staff layoffs officially begins on Tuesday, September 12.

In the initial phase, 24 Wilko stores across the UK will close, impacting hundreds of workers who now face redundancy.

All remaining Wilko shops, along with workers in the warehouse and support center, will also lose their jobs.

Wilko, once a family-owned business employing 12,500 staff and operating 400 stores, resorted to hiring administrators due to weak consumer spending and mounting debts to suppliers.

A last-ditch rescue effort collapsed earlier this week, raising concerns about the fate of thousands of jobs.

Billionaire owner of HMV, Doug Putman, aimed to save numerous stores and jobs but faced challenges with rising costs, leading to the bid's failure.

While some Wilko stores may be sold to rivals like Poundland or The Range, comprehensive details about job losses and store closures will be announced soon.

Already, 1,016 redundancies have been confirmed across 52 UK shops set to close this week. An additional 299 redundancies occurred at distribution centers, with over 260 layoffs at the support center.

Mark Jackson, Wilko's CEO, expressed regret over the decision to enter administration despite exhaustive efforts to preserve the business.

Why is Wilko Closing Stores?

Wilko couldn't secure emergency funding to sustain its 400 stores due to economic challenges, resulting in a £40 million loan last year. Changes in leadership, distribution center sales, and payment issues with suppliers exacerbated the situation.

Despite nearly £37 million in losses, owners took £3 million in dividends.

When is Wilko Closing Down?

Efforts by business leaders from Poundland, Primark, and Home Bargains to take over the chain have failed. Official announcements about closures and job losses are expected soon. Many Wilko stores continue to operate.

Persons1 and Companies6 in the news

Owner of the Sunrise Records and Entertainment (HMV)
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Home Bargains
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3 place
Wilko Limited
6 place
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