Union claims most Wilko stores are set to shut ‘in the next week’ following talks with administrators – who insist that all stores will remain open ‘in the immediate term’
- Trade union GMB claimed most Wilko stores are set to close in the coming week
- PwC hit back with claims all Wilko shops will stay open in the immediate term
A top trade union has claimed the majority of Wilko stores are set to close in the coming week following the collapse of talks to save the struggling firm.
Wilko was plunged into administration two weeks ago before hopes were raised that a new buyer could save the struggling high street retailer.
But in a meeting today, trade union GMB was told by Wilko’s administrators, PwC, that there is no longer any prospect of the company being saved.
The trade union warned the collapse of any deal means redundancies are expected to start over the coming week.
In a statement, PwC, however, insisted there are no plans to close Wilko stores in the coming week – despite the collapse of any deal to save the struggling firm.
GMB warned the majority of Wilko stores are set to close in the coming week following the collapse of a deal to save the struggling firm
Administrators PwC were brought in earlier this month to find a buyer that might save the chain of homeware stores.
Rival retailers Poundland, B&M, The Range and Home Bargains were reportedly among the firms interested in parts of the Wilko business.
In a statement, PwC confirmed that following ‘extensive discussions’ they had been unable to find a buyer interested in taking over the entirety of Wilko’s business.
GMB said that while some of Wilko’s stores may be bought out individually, or as part of larger packages, a ‘significant’ number of jobs will be lost.
The trade union claimed the collapsed talks mean staff will start being made redundant in the coming week.
PwC, however, said that ‘all stores’ will remain open in the ‘immediate term’ as at hit back at ‘speculation’ that Wilko shops will close next week.
The trade union warned Wilko’s collapse will lead to ‘significant’ redundancies
GMB national secretary, Andy Prendergast, said: ‘GMB union will continue to support members through this process and will fight to ensure members are consulted as per the law and that you receive every penny you are entitled to.
‘We will fight to ensure Wilko bosses are held accountable for the simple reason our members deserve so much better.
‘GMB will not forget the incompetence that has led to this collapse and we will not forget the dividends paid to the millionaires who gambled your jobs on their whims.’
Labour’s shadow business secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, said: ‘This is devastating news that will likely see stores close across the country.
‘Their loss will have a massive impact on their high streets and my thoughts are with those Wilko staff and their families facing this dreadful news.
‘Sadly, shuttered-up shops and struggling high streets has become the norm after 13 years of Conservative economic failure.
‘Labour has a plan for our high streets. We will tackle the things holding firms back by reforming business rates, cracking down on anti-social behaviour and putting an end to empty premises to bring shoppers back to their high street.’