Harborough Wilko branch set to close its doors a final time this Sunday

The Harborough branch will close on Sunday.The Harborough branch will close on Sunday.
The Harborough branch will close on Sunday.
The store in St Mary’s Place is among those closing imminently.

The Wilko Harborough branch is set to close its doors for the last time this weekend.

The store in St Mary’s Place is among those closing imminently, with the date set for this Sunday (September 17).

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Following efforts to save the high street chain, administrators announced all 346 stores will be closing, with 124 to be closed before September 21.

Administrators say it has become clear that ‘no significant part of the Wilko operations can be rescued as a going concern’.

Staff at the stores were told yesterday (Monday) of the early closures, with the remaining 222 stores set to be announced in due course. It is expected that all stores will be closed by early October, resulting in some 12,000 redundancies.

The closure of distribution centre (DC) operations is expected to take place on Friday (September 15), with the majority of the remaining 886 DC employees being made redundant on that date. Further redundancies of the remaining 210 support centre employees will take place this month and next as operations wind down.

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The administrators’ employee team is supporting with redundancy claims and providing an employee helpline. They are also working with the government, agencies, unions and employers to help create further employment opportunities for staff.

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator, said: “Despite the significant and intensive efforts of both ourselves and Putman Investments - the remaining party interested in buying a significant part of the business as a going concern - a transaction could not be progressed due to the inability to reduce central infrastructure costs quickly enough to make a deal commercially viable.”

He described the dedication of team members as ‘humbling’ and thanked them for their patience and understanding.

He added: “As with those who have already been given notice of redundancy, we will guide and support those team members impacted over the coming weeks through the redundancy claims process. We also continue to collaborate closely with relevant agencies and engage with any potential employers to help facilitate a quick return into new employment for those impacted.

“We continue to work with potential buyers for different parts of the business and are confident of completing transactions in the coming days.”

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