Administrators for retail chain Wilko have confirmed the closure of 52 stores and redundancies of 1,016 staff based at the sites, and a further 299 redundancies at the two distribution centres in Worksop and Newport.
The stores that will be shut include the branch at Westwood Cross which will close on September 12. Other Kent branches to close at Ashford, Folkestone and Tunbridge Wells.
The final day of trading for the 52 stores will be Tuesday 12 September and Thursday 14 September. For those employed at the distribution centres, redundancy will be effective from close of business on Thursday 7 September.
The following stores will close on Tuesday 12 September:
Acton, Aldershot, Barking, Bishop Auckland, Bletchley FF, Brownhills, Camberley, Cardiff Bay Retail Park, Falmouth, Harpurhey, Irvine, Liverpool Edge Lane, Llandudno, Lowestoft, Morley, Nelson, Port Talbot, Putney, Stafford, Tunbridge Wells, Wakefield, Weston-super-Mare, Westwood Cross, Winsford.
The following stores will close on Thursday 14 September:
Ashford, Avonmeads, Banbury, Barrow in Furness, Basildon, Belle Vale, Burnley (Relocation), Clydebank, Cortonwood, Dagenham, Dewsbury, Eccles, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Hammersmith, Huddersfield, Morriston, New Malden, North Shields, Queen Street Cardiff, Rhyl, Southampton-West Quay, St Austell, Stockport, Truro, Uttoxeter, Walsall, Woking.
Edward Williams, joint administrator, said: “In the absence of viable offers for the whole business, very sadly store closures and redundancies of team members from those stores are now necessary. The loss of these stores will be felt not only by the team members who served them with such dedication, including through the uncertainty of recent weeks, but also the communities which they have been a part of.
“We are enormously grateful for the support of team members during this difficult period and remain committed to doing all we can to help affected staff, assisting them with processing redundancy claims and working with relevant parties to help secure new employment as quickly as possible.”
Active discussions with parties interested in buying parts of the business continue and the administrators remain committed to preserving as many jobs as possible. However, depending on the outcome of those talks, it is possible that further store closures may be necessary.
Retailer B&M has agreed a deal to buy 51 Wilko stores for £13million.
In a notice to investors today (September 5) from the bargain retailer it says: “B&M European Value Retail S.A. confirmed that it has entered into an agreement today with the joint administrators of Wilko Limited (in administration) to acquire up to 51 properties for the maximum aggregate consideration of £13,000,000.
“The consideration is fully funded from existing cash reserves and the acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances.
“An update on the timing of these new store openings will be provided in the H1 interim results announcement on 9 November 2023.”
Budget chain Wilko officially went into administration on August 10. The firm has stores in Ramsgate and Westwood Cross. Some 400 stores and 12,000 jobs were put at risk.