Wilko rescue deal fails putting thousands of jobs back at risk

ITV News' Aisha Zahid takes us through the latest after a bid to save Wilko has dramatically fallen through

Nearly 300 jobs at retail chain Wilko are to go, as the remaining bid to take on the whole of the struggling business has fallen through.

Administrators at PriceWaterhouseCoopers confirmed today that 269 jobs will be lost at the company's support centre in Worksop.

It follows the collapse this morning of the remaining offer for the whole business from M2 Capital.

The job losses at the support centre in Worksop are effective from the close of business on Monday 4 September.

Further redundancies across two distribution centres in Worksop and Newport are expected from early next week, with exact numbers there to be confirmed.

Jane Steer, joint administrator, said it was with "great sadness" that they announced the 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," she said.

“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.” 

There are still discussions going on with other bidders.

These include Doug Putnam who owns HMV, about a deal that would include the majority of stores and Wilko's brand name.

There is no word on when a decision might be made regarding the future of that deal.

The GMB union said: "As a result of this unwelcome development, the redundancy processes which were paused two days ago are set to restart almost instantly."

It said that it was still trying to save the distribution centres, but "we do not have high hopes of doing so."

GMB said that it is "hopeful" of a viable bid for Wilko's stores and online business.

The chain was founded in Leicester with the first shop opening in 1930, and since then has grown to more than 400 stores across the country, with the headquarters in Worksop in Nottinghamshire.

All stores are currently trading and remain open.

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