January 10, 2022 10.44 am

Wilko set to close four Lincolnshire stores with 67 job losses

Another nail in the coffin for the high street

Wilko is set to close 16 stores across the country with shops in Scunthorpe, Grantham, Skegness and Cleethorpes affected.

More than 330 jobs could be lost overall, with 67 set to go in Lincolnshire by the end of the year.

A 30-day consultation will begin on the future of the Scunthorpe store on March 12, where 21 staff face losing their job. In Grantham 15 staff members are affected, and a consultation is set to being on May 7.

The announcement affects 15 staff in Skegness and 16 in Cleethorpes, with consultations set to begin on June 11 and October 1, respectively.

It comes as the GMB Union calls for commercial rents overhaul, describing the announcement as ‘another nail in the high street’s coffin’.

The other affected stores are Bournemouth, Stockton, The Fort, Shipley, Narborough Road, Redditch, Rotherham, Sutton, Coldfield, Orpington, Edmonton Green, Llanelli and Merthyr Tydfil.

Each store will have a 30-day consultation period, while permanent recruitment will freeze.

The privately owned 90-year-old home and garden retailer is undertaking a complete review of its store portfolio as leases end and where favourable terms cannot be agreed.

This does not impact the retailer’s new store or store relocation programme which will continue as planned.

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO 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.

“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.”

Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, said: “These closures are devasting 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.”

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