Uncertainty over job losses

Staff at Wilko stores have entered redundancy discussions
Staff at Wilko stores have entered redundancy discussions

Wilko staff in Mansfield and Ashfield have been left facing uncertainty after the company revealed they plan to axe jobs – but hopes have now been raised by union leaders.

The company announced that it has entered into a redundancy consultation with 3,900 staff on Friday, August 11.

This shake-up could see changes coming to your local Wilko, the company has warned, and comes after it reported an 80 per cent plunge in pre-tax profits.

Wilko’s retail director Anthony Houghton, said: “Despite the challenging retail landscape, Wilko has seen both positive customer numbers and like-for-like sales growth this year.

“This is not translating into positive results despite all the hard work to reduce costs, grow own-brand and digital sales.

“Following independent studies we identified a legacy of retail structures which created complexity to manage which aren’t simple, fair or transparent for our team members.

“The simpler newly defined store structure will give teams greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience.”

It is understood that 1,000 new “senior supervisor” roles will also be created as part of the shake-up.

The union GMB, which supports workers in commercial services, manufacturing, and public services has met with bosses to try and save jobs.

Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said: “This was the first of many discussions we will have with the company during the 60-day consultation.

“We will be having further, difficult conversations during the process.

“We’ve had people on the phone to us in tears – people who have been with the company 20 or 30 years.

“We all want to see Wilko as a thriving, sustainable business with a long term future.

“It is vital GMB helps the company keep any job losses to an absolute minimum.

“It is important to ensure adequate staffing levels in their stores to maintain an acceptable level of customer service.

“It’s a hazy picture at the moment, but we will be looking at each store individually with Wilko.

“There are going to be redundancies, but we are very confident these can be reduced significantly.”

There are two Wilko’s locally which could be affected – one is on Clumber Street, on Mansfield, and the other is on Outram Street, in Sutton. It is not yet known how many local jobs are under threat.