Wilko job cuts confirmed as last-minute bid for entire business collapses

Wilko store sign

Wilko administrators have confirmed more than 270 jobs will be made redundant

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 31/08/2023

- 10:55

Updated: 12/09/2023

- 16:01

Wilko administrators have confirmed more than 270 job roles will be made redundant

Wilko has announced more than 270 redundancies after a last-minute bid to save the entire business collapsed.

Administrators said while discussions continue with parties interested in buying parts of the business, is now clear that there is no viable offer structure for the entire business.

It was announced 269 Support Centre team member roles will be made redundant, effective from close of business on September 4, with further redundancies across the two distribution centres “early next week”.

The administrators said there were “no viable offers” for Kin Limited (Kin), a subsidiary of Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd (WHSL), resulting in the closure of the business and redundancies of its 14 employees, also effective from the close of business on September 4.

Wilko store

Wilko has more than 400 stores


Jane Steer, joint administrator, said: “It’s with great sadness that we announce these redundancies. We’re incredibly grateful to these team members for the support and dedication they’ve shown to the company, particularly over the last few very difficult weeks.

“We will continue to do all that we can to support staff through this period of difficult upheaval, and to maximise their opportunities for a rapid return to work. Our priority is to ensure that all team members affected by redundancy are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect. We will be circulating correspondence to all staff as soon as possible which will outline the support available to complete redundancy payment forms. Advice and assistance will also be available from Job Centre Plus and other agencies.”

The GMB union told its members yesterday that potential job cuts at Wilko could be restarted today if a bidder for the entire business failed to supply necessary details by the deadline of 5pm last night.

It said there were no other bids that would include saving Wilko’s warehouses and support centres.

Wilko has more than 400 stores and employs around 12,500 jobs.

However, GMB said on Wednesday that the bid for the entire firm “has yet to pass basic checks”.

In a message to members, the union said: “Although further details have been requested from the bidder, we have been informed that if these are not received by 5.00PM then there are no bids on the table that include either the DC’s (distribution centres) or the support centre.

“If this is the case, then the redundancies which were paused yesterday are likely to be restarted tomorrow.

“Whilst this does mean that there are bids on the table for a significant proportion of the stores and the online business, we still cannot guarantee the future of any jobs moving forwards at this point.”

Administrators at PwC are reportedly still in negotiations with HMV owner Doug Putman, about a deal that would see him take on the majority of stores and Wilko’s brand name, but not including the distribution centre or headquarters.

Wilko redundancies were suspended on Tuesday while administrators considered further bids.

Wilko logo on store

The GMB union said Wilko 'was not out of the woods by any means'


The GMB union said that while it was a positive development, Wilko was not “out of the woods by any means”.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary said: “All redundancies at Wilko have been suspended while the administrator considers further bids.

“Whilst this is a positive development, Wilko is not out of the woods by any means and this is a time of incredible stress and worry for the 12,500 workers who face losing their jobs.”

Administrators told GB News on Tuesday: “Since our appointment as administrators of Wilko we have worked relentlessly to secure a sale of the business. We are actively engaging with all interested parties and assessing the deliverability of all bids made.

“As administrators we’re intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved while preserving as many jobs as possible and adhering to our statutory duty to act in the best interests of the creditors as a whole.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders or interested parties at this stage in the process.”

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