Union officials have reacted with fury to Wilko’s announcement that the retailer is shutting 15 stores this year.
GMB union called the move, which threatens 330 jobs in Britain, ’another nail in the High Street’s coffin’.
Wilko, which admitted the way people shop is ‘changing’, was hammered by the pandemic despite being allowed to open as an ‘essential retailer’.
For the year to February 2021, it made a pre-tax profit of £4.4million — down 61.4 per cent year-on-year.
The firm said the branches will close when their leases end after favourable terms could not be agreed. It has more than 400 branches across the UK and is investing heavily in online retail.
Planned closures include Shipley, Bournemouth and Stockton next month, Scunthorpe in March, Grantham and Redditch in May, Rotherham, Skegness and Sutton Coldfield in June, Llanelli in August, Merthyr Tydfil in September and Cleethorpes in October. Orpington and Edmonton Green in London will also shut.
Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, thundered: ‘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.