High street retailer Wilko announces store closures - but Kimberley store is safe
Ever-popular high street retailer Wilko is set to close 16 stores around the country, it has been announced.
But the retailer’s stores in Kimberley will escape the axe and will not be affected.
Stores in Rotherham, Bournemouth, Stockton, Birmingham, Scunthorpe, Leicester, Grantham, Redditch, Skegness, Sutton Coldfield, Orpington, Edmonton Green, Shipley, Cleethorpes, Llanelli and Merthyr Tydfil will be shutting their doors in what the GMB Union has described 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.”