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All Of UK Retailer Wilko's Stores To Shut, Risking 12,500 Jobs

By Donna Ahern
All Of UK Retailer Wilko's Stores To Shut, Risking 12,500 Jobs

Wilko will disappear from British high streets next month, as its entire chain of 400 homeware stores close, with the likely loss of all 12,500 jobs, a trade union has said.

The GMB union said, citing Wilko's administrators, that the stores were set to close by early October, while two distribution centres will close on Friday next week.

'This means that redundancy is now likely for all 12,500 workers,' GMB added.

Collapsed Deal 

The news follows hopes in recent weeks of a deal being reached to buy the retailer, which collapsed last month after suffering a cash squeeze following a downturn in trading.


A recent bid by Canadian businessman Doug Putman, the owner of HMV music stores, to buy a majority of Wilko failed due to complications over costs, British media reported.

Read More: UK's Discount Retailer B&M To Buy 51 Stores Of Wilko

About Wilko 

Wilko, which started as hardware store in 1930 in Leicester, central England, succumbed to Britain's tougher economic environment and cost-of-living crisis, grappling with high inflation and a series of interest rate rises.

"This isn't a tragedy without cause," Nadine Houghton, national officer, GMB said. "Wilko should have thrived in a bargain retail sector that is otherwise strong, but it was run into the ground by the business owners."


Wilko's administrators, PwC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier, GlobalData suggested that the collapse of the retailer Wilko is likely to present rival discount retailers with an opportunity for further growth.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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