BUDGET retailer Wilko is set to shutter all of its stores in Wales and an additional 400 locations across the United Kingdom following the collapse of last-ditch rescue talks. This development comes as a devastating blow to both employees and shoppers alike.
Earlier, Wales was already bracing for the closure of several stores, with Cardiff Bay Retail Park, Llandudno, and Port Talbot slated to shut their doors on Tuesday, September 12, followed by Morriston, Queen Street in Cardiff, and Rhyl on Thursday, September 14.
Administrators from PwC, responsible for overseeing the troubled company’s finances, have now confirmed that the remaining Wilko stores nationwide will cease operations by early October. This move will result in the heartbreaking loss of approximately 9,100 jobs.
The list of Wilko stores set to close in Wales is extensive and includes:
- Cardiff, Colchester Avenue
- Pembroke Dock
The GMB union issued a statement in response to this dire news, saying, “Staff will be asked to work two extra days after the stores have closed. Likewise, a small number will be required to stay on at the distribution centers for up to 14 days to assist with the decommissioning.”
Hope had briefly flickered when HMV owner Doug Putman expressed interest in purchasing 300 Wilko branches to keep them afloat after the company went into administration last month. However, redundancies had already begun with warehouse closures and the closure of 52 branches this week.
In a heartfelt statement, Doug Putman revealed his disappointment, stating, “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko, having worked with administrators and suppliers over several weeks to seek a viable way to rescue it as a going concern.” He added, “A stable foundation could not be secured to ensure long-term success for the business and its people in the way that we would have wanted.”
This development casts a shadow over the retail landscape in the UK, with the impact on employees, communities, and shoppers left in its wake.