Wilko rescue deal falls through with Middleton store to close next week

Date published: 12 September 2023

A rescue deal that would have saved the remaining Wilko stores from closing – of which there is one in the Middleton Shopping Centre – has fallen through - with the Middleton store set to close on 19 September.

All 400 of its stores across the UK will close by early October, the GMB Union has said, with around 12,500 jobs at risk of redundancy.

B&M has said it will take on up to 51 shops, but details of which stores will be acquired by the competing discount chain have not yet been revealed.

The union says it was informed by administrators on Monday morning (11 September) with stores to close by early October. The second round of 124 store closures was revealed on 12 September, with closures to take place between 19 and 21 September.

In a statement, GMB said: “Although separate bids may be made for leases of groups of sites, these deals will not secure jobs, although the option to take up new employment with the bidders for these sites is something we are now pushing for.

“This is not the news our members or the GMB had been hoping for or working towards.”

It added that the union would “do everything we can to save as many jobs as possible.”

Wilko announced it had called in administrators in August 2023.

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.”

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