The closures of Wilko stores are 'likely' to result in the loss of thousands of jobs, as ITV News' Cari Davies reports
Wilko will shut its first group of shops on Tuesday as the dramatic collapse of the high street chain takes shape.
The historic retailer will shut 24 stores across the UK in the first phase of closures, with hundreds of workers at the shops set for redundancy.
It comes a day after administrators confirmed all the group’s remaining shop, warehouse and support centre workers are set to lose their jobs.
According to the GMB, all 400 branches of the collapsed retailer will close by early October with the "likely" loss of all 12,500 jobs at the chain.
The union said it was informed of the development by administrators PwC on Monday morning. The GMB said it meant it was now "likely" that all of Wilko's staff would now be made redundant.
Family-owned Wilko hired administrators early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.
All its stores have continued to trade in recent weeks as it has worked through remaining stock, with the retailer discounting thousands of products.
Last week PwC confirmed that a number of shops would have to close for good after they were unable to secure a deal which would buy all of the firm’s shops.
It later confirmed that 52 shops were earmarked for closure after they were not targeted by potential buyers for parts of the retail business.
The first phase of closures will take place on Tuesday as a result, with 24 stores serving customers for their final day before shutting for good.
A further 28 shops will shut after trading on Thursday.
These closures will result in 1,016 redundancies, while administrators have also announced hundreds of other job cuts impacting warehouse and support centre staff.
A further 124 shops will shut for good next week as the process continues, with the final 222 stores all due to close by early October.
PwC said the firm’s warehouse will shut on Friday, with final support centre workers leaving in early October as operations completely unwind.
Administrators are still in talks over deals to sell store properties, but are shutting down sites after failing to find a suitor who would take them on as Wilko shops and retain their staff.
The 24 shops set to shut their doors on Tuesday:
Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Bletchley, Milton Keynes
Cardiff Bay Retail Park
Irvine, North Ayrshire
Liverpool Edge Lane
Port Talbot, Wales
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Wakefield, 121 Kirkgate
Westwood Cross Retail Park, Broadstairs, Kent
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