Is Wilko closing its stores across the UK? About 12,500 staff members to potentially lose their jobs as retailer fails to save business

More Wilko stores slated to close by next week (Image via X/@A_Bin_Chicken)
More Wilko stores slated to close by next week (Image via X/@A_Bin_Chicken)

52 Wilko stores were shut last week and 111 are set to follow in their footsteps by the end of next week. Over 400 stores are set to close by October 2023, leading to a loss of employment for an estimated 12,500 staff members, as per the Mirror. The unfortunate move comes after administrators failed to find a vendor that would retain the brand, shops, and its staff.

The retail chain, which proudly served customers for 90 years is still looking for buyers for store properties, having sold 71 stores to Poundland, and 51 store es to B&M.


111 Wilko stores to close down next week

On August 10, the retail giant that sold household goods failed to find a vendor and oversee a takeover, thereby placing it in administration. Shortly after the fall, Wilko stores started to slowly shut down. Last week, 52 stores closed and by the end of next week, the count will rise to 124. Warehouses in Nottinghamshire and Newport were closed on September 15.

PwC administrators have stated that all 400 stores are set to close by early October. This will affect more than 12,500 jobs. B&M acquired 51 locations for £13 million and 71 stores were acquired by Poundland, who stated that former Wilko employees will be considered for employment when the stores reopen, albeit not being a direct transfer.

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Barry Williams, the Managing Director of Poundland stated in a press release:

"In the coming weeks, we will work quickly with landlords so we can open these stores as Poundlands with the new ranges that have been pivotal to our recent development."

He added:

"And once that process is complete, we will ensure a significant number of the Wilko colleagues will join our Poundland team."

The Wilko website, intellectual property, and brand name were sold to The Range. 37 stores, each, are set to close shop on September 25, 27, and 29. The timing of the closures will be announced soon.

Here is the list of Wilko stores across multiple locations that are all set to close next week:

September 25, Monday

  • Altrincham, Greater Manchester
  • Ashton, Greater Manchester
  • Barry, Wales
  • Bridgwater, Somerset
  • Cleveleys, Lancashire
  • Cockermouth, Cumbria
  • Crossgates, Leeds
  • Darlington, County Durham
  • Dartford, Kent
  • Dereham, Norfolk
  • Giltbrook, Nottingham
  • Great Malvern, Worcestershire
  • Haverfordwest, Wales
  • Headingley, West Yorkshire
  • High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
  • Ilkeston, Derbyshire
  • Killingworth, North Tyneside
  • Lichfield, Staffordshire
  • Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Market Drayton, Shropshire
  • Northfield, Birmingham
  • Oakham, Rutland
  • Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire
  • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
  • Ramsgate, Kent
  • Skelmersdale, Lancashire
  • Staines, Surrey
  • Strood, Kent
  • Stroud, Gloucestershire
  • Thamesmead, Greater London
  • Thetford, Norfolk
  • Trowbridge, Wiltshire
  • Walthamstow, Greater London
  • Warrington, Lancashire
  • Waterlooville, Hampshire
  • Winton, Dorset
  • Yiewsley, Greater London

September 27, Wednesday

  • Acocks Green, Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Alnwick, Northumberland
  • Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Wales
  • Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire
  • Arnison-Durham, Durham, County Durham
  • Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Blyth, Northumberland
  • Boston, Lincolnshire, East Midlands
  • Brentwood, Essex
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  • Chester Le Street, County Durham
  • Gillingham, Kent
  • Gloucester, Gloucestershire
  • Greenwich, London
  • Halesowen, Dudley, West Midlands
  • Harlow, Essex
  • Hartlepool, County Durham
  • Kidderminster, Worcestershire
  • Lewisham, London
  • Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Meadowhall, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
  • Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • Nuneaton, Warwickshire
  • Rainham, London
  • Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Six Acre Shopping Centre, Sale, Greater Manchester
  • Salford, Greater Manchester
  • South Shields, Tyne and Wear
  • Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
  • Thornaby, North Yorkshire
  • Watford, Hertfordshire
  • Wellington, Somerset
  • Whitehaven, Cumbria
  • Wigston, Leicestershire
  • Worksop, Nottinghamshire
  • Yeovil, Somerset

September 29, Friday

  • Allenton, Derby, Derbyshire
  • Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
  • Bedminster, Bristol
  • Biggleswade, Bedfordshire
  • Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset
  • Bull Ring, Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Chippenham, Wiltshire
  • Clowne, Derbyshire
  • Corby, Northamptonshire
  • Cowley, Oxfordshire
  • Dudley, West Midlands
  • Fareham, Hampshire
  • Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
  • Gravesend, Kent
  • Hayes, Middlesex
  • Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Hull, East Yorkshire
  • Kenilworth, Warwickshire
  • Kettering, Northamptonshire
  • Kings Lynn, Norfolk
  • Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
  • Leek, Staffordshire
  • Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
  • Middlebrook, Bolton, Greater Manchester
  • Mildenhall, Suffolk
  • Newbury, Berkshire
  • Northallerton, North Yorkshire
  • Redditch, Worcestershire
  • Redhill, Surrey
  • Retford, Nottinghamshire
  • Rugby, Warwickshire
  • Rushden, Northamptonshire
  • Spalding, Lincolnshire
  • St Helens, Merseyside
  • Syston, Leicestershire
  • Wallasey, Merseyside
  • Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

The British high-street retail chain was established in 1930 by founder, James Kemsey Wilkinson at 151 Charnwood Street, Leicester, before expanding to over 400 locations. Wilkinson was succeeded by his son, Tony Wilkinson, and then by Tony's daughter, Lisa Wilkinson, and niece, Karin Swann in 2005.

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Edited by Adelle Fernandes