All Wilko stores to shut by early October, says union and administrators

Wilko at Westwood Cross

All Wilko stores will be shut by early October after an offer to buy hundreds of stores by HMV owner Doug Putman fell through, says the GMB union.

Budget chain Wilko officially went into administration on August 10. The firm has stores in Ramsgate and Westwood Cross. Some 400 stores and 12,500 jobs have been put at risk.

In an update to member today (September 11) the GMB says: “We are incredibly sorry to have to share the devastating news that (administrators) PWC have confirmed the previous offer being explored for the sale of hundreds of stores as a going concern has fallen through.

“There is now no prospect of saving the remaining store estate in its entirety and all Wilko stores will close by early October with distribution centres to close on Friday, 15th September.”

The GMB says separate bids may be made for leases of groups of sites.

The next round of store closures will take place between the 19 – 21st September and will involve 124 stores and a further tranche of closures will be announced tomorrow (September 12).

Staff will be asked to work two extra days after the stores have closed.

Last week administrators for retail chain Wilko confirmed the closure of 52 stores and redundancies of 1,016 staff based at the sites, including the Westwood Cross branch.

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.

September 17th closures: 

Lakeside, Wimbledon, Bury St Edmunds, Letchworth, Maidenhead, Bognor Regis, Sovereign Harbour, Orpington, Kensington High Street.

September 19th:

East Ham, Leighton Buzzard, Swanley, Stevenage, Colindale, Didcot, Blackheath.

September 21:

Walton on Thames, Grays, Andover, Bordon, Farnborough, Fulham, Bicester, Edmonton Green, Gorleston, Penge, Bedford, Slough, Clacton on Sea, Havant

Earlier this month retailer B&M agreed a deal to buy 51 Wilko stores for £13million. These stores are likely to be rebranded. It is not clear whether staff will be kept on.

Commence closure

PWC says despite extensive efforts, it has become clear that no significant part of the Wilko operations can be rescued as a going concern. As a result, the joint administrators have today informed all staff that they will sadly commence the closure of all stores, the two distribution centres and the cessation of the majority of activities of the Support Centre. It is anticipated that all stores will be closed by early October, resulting in the redundancies of a further 9,100 employees.

Staff at 124 stores have today been informed that those outlets will close on, or before, Thursday 21 September. Timings for the closure of the remaining 222 stores will be announced in due course.

The closure of distribution centre (DC) operations is expected to take place on Friday 15 September, with the majority of the remaining 886 DC employees being made redundant on that date. Further redundancies of the remaining 210 support centre employees will take place during September and early October as operations wind down.

The administrators continue to liaise closely with the government, agencies, unions and large employers to help create avenues to further employment opportunities for staff.


Zelf Hussain, joint administrator, said: “Despite the significant and intensive efforts of both ourselves and Putman Investments – the remaining party interested in buying a significant part of the business as a going concern – a transaction could not be progressed due to the inability to reduce central infrastructure costs quickly enough to make a deal commercially viable.

“The dedication shown by all team members during this period has been hugely humbling and we are grateful for the patience and understanding they have shown. As with those who have already been given notice of redundancy, we will guide and support those team members impacted over the coming weeks through the redundancy claims process.

“We also continue to collaborate closely with relevant agencies and engage with any potential employers to help facilitate a quick return into new employment for those impacted.

“We continue to work with potential buyers for different parts of the business and are confident of completing transactions in the coming days.”