'End of an era' as Wilko closes first of 400 stores and shelves inside lay empty | The Sun

SHOPPERS have been left devastated as Wilko closes the first of its 400 stores.

Administrators at PwC confirmed yesterday that it will close all Wilko stores by October.

The 90-year-old retailer is shutting 24 branches today and a further 28 on Thursday.

Another 124 stores are set to close next week in three rounds of closures on Sunday 17, Tuesday 19 and September 21.

Exact timings for the shuttering of the remaining 222 stores will be announced in due course.

Shoppers have been hit with empty shelves at stores across the country, as many rush to grab last-minute bargains before their local store shuts forever.


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Since the retailer fell into administration back in August several bidders tried and failed to save the brand, its stores and 12,500 staff.

One deal with B&M has seen up to 51 shops bought, with others also said to be looking to buy up sites and rebrand them as their own.

The latest bid from entrepreneur Doug Putman was the last hope to save 200 sites, but the deal ultimately fell through yesterday.

Shoppers have been taking to social media to share their disappointment at the news, offering heartfelt condolences to staff.

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One said: "Great shame. Yet another iconic brand name gone from the high street. Best of luck to the staff there."

Another wrote: "Good luck I hope all the staff find alternate employment, sad end to an era."

A third commented: "So so sad my heart is breaking for all my little friends that work in such a lovely store."

Others feared for where they'll get their favourite items from now.

One posted: "I love Wilko! Where am I going to get my pick 'n' mix?!"

A second shopper said: "Real shame to lose them from the high street, I'm not sure where I will get the things I bought from Wilko now."

The departure of Wilko from the British high street has been compared by many to the axing of Woolworths.

The retail favourite fell into administration back in 2008 which ultimately resulted in all of its 800 stores closing and 27,000 redundancies.

A disappointed fan said: "End off an era like Woolworths etc!!"

And another wrote: "What next I wonder? Bring back Woolworths."

"Another high street name bites the dust," a third commented.

Workers have of course shared thoughts on the imminent store closures, expressing sympathy for the communities as well.

One staff member posted: "I work at Wilko and our store closes on Thursday.

"We are gutted but this doesn’t just affect the staff it also has an effect on the wider community who rely on our shop as the nearest B&M, Home Bargains is quite a distance away and there is not another shop like ours around. Sad times."

Wilko tumbled into administration on August 10 after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

Chief executive officer, Mark Jackson, said that the company had "left no stone unturned" in a bid to save the chain.

Wilko workers have since made heartfelt requests to "insensitive" shoppers ahead of the closures.

Tesco and other supermarkets have made kind gestures to thousands of staff urging them to apply for vacant roles.

Meanwhile, we reveal the full list of stores which have so far been signposted for closure.


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Plus, retail experts have revealed what went wrong with Wilko.

And, to keep up to date with the latest see our live blog.

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