The home and garden retailer has opened up negotiations with landlords and has confirmed that stores with ‘non-favourable terms’ will close this year as a part of a growth strategy
Image: Ayrshire Post)
Wilko has announced plans to close 15 stores this year, resulting in the loss of aroun67 jobs across the country.
The home and garden retailer has opened up negotiations with landlords and has confirmed that stores with ‘non-favourable terms’ will close this year as a part of the chain’s “long-term growth strategy.”
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.
Of the stores marked for closure, 11 branches have an alternative wilko within a five-mile radius.
“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”.
Are you a Wilko worker affected by the closures? Get in touch: [email protected]
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“We’ll be doing everything we can to support our affected team members who will be offered any available positions in nearby stores.
“We apologise to those communities where stores are closing but will continue to offer them everything they need in nearby stores or via wilko.com.”
Trade union group GMB described the announcement as “another nail in the high street coffin”
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 but 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.”
Just under seventy jobs will be affected by the announcement.
Kevin Mountford, co-founder of savings provider Raisin UK, said: “Whilst we are not facing restrictions that we saw in 2020, we are still not out of this pandemic.
“Retail sales have suffered over the past years as consumers shift to shopping online, meaning retailers such as Wilko are having to react and adapt to changing consumer preferences.”
If you work for Wilko and are worried about your job role becoming redundant, there are a few ways you can try to plan for this.
Read up on your rights, especially when it comes to redundancy pay and settlements.
The law states you should be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’ve worked for your current employer for two years or more.
- half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
- one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
- one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
Your weekly pay is the average you earned per week over the 12 weeks before the day you got your redundancy notice.
Check your notice period, so you know what you are required to work or be paid for.
Some affected staff may be offered a transfer to an alternative Wilko branch. Your 30-day consultation starts form the day you are formally told about the closure.
Statutory redundancy pay under £30,000 is not taxable.
However your employer will deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from any wages or holiday pay they owe you.
Full list of Wilko stores closing down
Wilko will close its stores in Bournemouth, Stockton, Shipley, The Fort, Scunthorpe, Narborough Road, Grantham, Redditch, Rotherham, Skegness, Sutton Coldfield, Orpington, Edmonton Green, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil and Cleethorpes.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.