Worksop-based value retailer, Wilko, has announced that it plans to close 15 of its 414 stores this year, putting up to 300 jobs at risk. The company has said it will consult with landlords and staff about other opportunities.
The Wilko stores set for closure are in Bournemouth, Stockton, The Fort, Shipley, Scunthorpe, Narborough Road, Grantham, Redditch, Rotherham, Skegness, Sutton Coldfield, Edmonton Green, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil and Cleethorpes.
Wilko said it was reviewing leases that were coming to an end and had chosen to exit stores where favourable terms could not be agreed. Sales at Wilko dropped 10.5 per cent to £1.28bn in the year to January 2021, while pre-tax profits fell 13 per cent to £5.5mn. During the first year of lockdown sales experienced a 40 per cent drop in visitor numbers.
Wilko’s new store openings and relocations will not be affected by the closures.
Chief executive, Jerome Saint-Marc, said: 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.”
11 of the stores earmarked for closure have an alternative retailer within a five mile radius.
Wilko currently employs 16,000 people in the UK.