Wilko announced that it will close 15 of its stores in the country in a devastating blow to the British High Street.
The plans are expected to result in around 67 job losses.
The Mirror reportsThe beloved home bargain store said it had opened negotiations with landlords. Stores with ‘non-favourable terms will be closing this year as part of the chain. “long-term growth strategy.”
11 stores have alternative Wilko within five miles of the ones that are closing.
Speaking after the announcement, 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 over 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.”
It has been described by some as “another nail in the high street coffin”GMB, a trade union group
Roger Jenkins, GMB National officer, stated: “These closures are devastating 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.”
There are several ways to prepare for the possibility of your job being eliminated if you work at Wilko.
Learn all you can about your rights, particularly when it comes redundancy payments and settlements.
The law states you should be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’ve worked for your current employer for two years or more.
- half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
- one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
- one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
Your weekly pay is the average amount you earned in a week during the 12 weeks preceding the date you received your notice of redundancy.
You should check your notice period to see what you are allowed to work and how much you will be paid.
The possibility exists that some employees may be offered a transfer from one Wilko branch to another. Your consultation begins on the day that you are informed about the closure.
Statutory redundancy pay under £30,000 is not taxable.
Your employer will, however, deduct tax and National Insurance from any wages or holiday payments they owe to you.
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Here is the complete list of stores that are closing:
- The Fort
- Narborough Road
- Sutton Coldfield
- Edmonton Green
- Merthyr Tydfil