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Wilko to shut ‘majority of stores’ within weeks, affecting thousands of jobs

Wilko stores are set to close within weeks after failed talks to rescue the collapsed retailer.

Trade union GMB, which is representing some of the workers, claims some stores will close next week, which Wilko administrators deny.

However, according to the administrators, PwC, it is likely that there will be store closures and redundancies in the future, as those interested in buying the group are not focused on the whole organisation.

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It said: “We know this will further add to the uncertainty felt by workers.

“We will be supporting staff through this deeply unsettling time, working closely with the government, JobCentre Plus, unions and large employers to maximise possibilities for a rapid return to work for employees in the event of redundancies.

“In the immediate term, all stores remain open, continue to trade and staff continue to be paid,” it added.

The closures signify mass redundancies for the homeware retailer’s 12,500 staff, GMB stated.

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 will we not forget the dividends paid to the millionaires who gambled your jobs on their whims.”

This comes as Wilko fell into administration a fortnight ago after it failed to secure a rescue deal.

At the time, CEO Mark Jackson said: “We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.”

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