By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Administrators have confirmed when six Nottinghamshire Wilko stores will close for good as the retailer collapses out of business.
The high street giant’s stores in Mansfield, Giltbrook, Newark, Retford, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Worksop will pull down the shutters before the end of this month.
Overall around 400 Wilko shops nationwide are closing.
Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced the latest news on Tuesday (September 19).
Giltbrook’s store is among 37 closures on Monday, September 25, which will also see the closure of the store in neighbouring Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
The stores in Newark, Sutton and Worksop are among 37 to shut nationally on Wednesday, September 27.
Mansfield and Retford’s units will then close two days later on Friday, September 29 among 37 further closures nationally.
Stores in Clifton, Kimberley and Sherwood closed on Tuesday (September 20) with Wilko units in Beeston and Carlton to close on Thursday (September 21).
Future plans for the retailer’s stores in Nottingham, Arnold, Bulwell and Hucknall are yet to be outlined by administrators.
Some local jobs may be saved after rival retailer Poundland agreed to buy 71 Wilko retail units nationally – including the units in Beeston, Kimberley and Worksop.
All three stores will become Poundland units in the coming weeks and union GMB pledged to take steps to ensure affected staff at these stores are prioritised.
Retailer B&M has also agreed to buy 51 Wilko stores, though the locations of those units have not yet been confirmed.
Overall, local job losses caused by the retailer’s collapse are likely to total more than 2,000 roles amidst a loss of roles at Wilko’s headquarters in Worksop.
Bassetlaw District Council described the high street giant’s demise as “like a pit closure” with jobs already cut at the retailer’s support offices and distribution centre in the town.
The Labour-led council held a support event last week aimed at affected staff with skills, retraining and employment support on offer.
Now Nottinghamshire County Council is to debate a motion aimed at offering extra support to affected staff.
The motion – lodged by Labour group leader Cllr Kate Foale and Cllr Anne Callaghan, of Mansfield North – says the council should use its position as a “major employer” to support Wilko employees.
It says: “Nottinghamshire County Council has vacancies in valuable areas of work, such as the care sector.
“[We should] … establish links to support the significant number of Wilko staff in Nottinghamshire with transferrable skills who are at risk of losing their employment.
“[The council should also] take additional steps to connect Wilko staff to existing opportunities and to offer opportunities to learn new skills, with the view to joining our valued workforce.”
The motion will be debated at the authority’s full council meeting on Thursday, September 28.
Speaking last week, Cllr Jo White (Lab) cabinet member for business and skills and deputy leader of Bassetlaw District Council, added: “This is devastating news for Wilko staff both in Bassetlaw and across the country.
“It’s another hammer blow to the Great British high street as we lose yet another much-loved retailer.
“Many staff at Wilko have worked there for a very long time and this may be their first experience looking for another job.
“With its HQ, a distribution centre and two shops in Bassetlaw, we will be losing around 2,000 jobs.
“There are also associated supply chain jobs at risk. This is a similar level to a pit closure or a garment factory going under.
“As a council, we are pulling out all the stops to support our residents affected by the collapse of Wilko.
“This is the start of the process, and we will be on hand as the situation continues to progress.”