In a move which the GMB trade union described as ‘another nail in the High Street’s coffin’, Wilko will close its store in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, with the loss of 20 jobs – but the shops on Clumber Street in Mansfield and Outram Street in Sutton will remain open.
Further affected stores include Bournemouth, Stockton, The Fort in Birmingham, Scunthorpe, Narborough Road in Leicester, Grantham, Redditch, Skegness, Sutton Coldfield, Orpington, Edmonton Green, Shipley and Cleethorpes, as well as Llanelli and Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.
GMB Union has described the closures as ‘another nail in the High Street’s coffin’.
The firm said the stores affected will close as leases end and favourable terms cannot be agreed, adding it will not affect its new openings, or stores relocation programme.
Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko chief executive, 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 more than 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.”