MADRID, 24 Ago. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The British chain of discount household goods and hardware stores Wilko, which declared bankruptcy at the beginning of August, will close most of its stores in the coming weeks, after failing to find a buyer for the product. group as a whole, which will mean the dismissal of thousands of its around 12,500 workers, according to union sources.
"Most Wilko stores will close within a few weeks after a buyout from the retailer fails," the GMB Union warned, after meeting with the company's designated managers, who acknowledged that there is no prospect that most of this family business can be saved.
In this regard, the union notes that while some stores may be bought out, either individually or as part of larger packages, significant job losses are to be expected in stores and call centers.
"GMB Union will continue to support our members through this process and will fight to ensure they are consulted in accordance with the law and receive every penny they are entitled to," said Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary.
On their side, in statements collected by the ITV chain, Wilko's administrators admitted that, despite continuing to hold conversations with those interested in buying parts of the business, "it is clear that the nature of this interest is not focused on the entire group ", so they assume that "it is likely that there will be layoffs and store closings in the future."
In this sense, despite the growing uncertainty, Wilko administrators stressed that all stores will remain open, continue to operate and staff will continue to be paid, adding that, "contrary to speculation, there are currently no plans to close any shop next week."
Wilko announced on August 8 that it was declaring itself in suspension of payments, after the company's efforts to find a buyer failed, leaving some 12,500 jobs in the air.
"We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business, but we must regretfully admit that we have no choice but to make the difficult decision to go into administration," said then-CEO Mark Jackson.
The chain, whose origins date back to a hardware store in Leicester in 1930, thus becomes one of the biggest victims of the impact on consumption of the rise in the cost of living and the rise in credit after 14 consecutive rate hikes of interest in the UK from December 2021.