Wilko rescue bid collapses 'instantly' placing 12,000 jobs at risk

The troubled high street retailer has ten stores in Scotland, in addition to more than 390 across the UK.

Redundancies for staff working for Wilko will start next week after a bid for the entirety of the collapsed retailer fell through, a union has said.

In a letter to its members, GMB said most people working in Wilko’s commercial trading team and IT, finance, legal and HR divisions will have their “last day with the company” on Monday.

Warehouse staff redundancies are due to start next week, it said, adding that it remains hopeful there is a “viable buyer on the table” which could protect in-store and online staff.

GMB’s letter added: “Whilst the news is obviously devastating for our colleagues in the support centre and the DCs, please rest assured that GMB have not rested as we fought to save your jobs.

“We will do everything we can moving forwards to support you and wish there had been a better outcome.

“Despite leaving no stone unturned, we simply could not reverse the years of mismanagement under the recent regime and cannot ignore the incompetence which has cost you your jobs.”

Wilko, which runs more than 400 stores across the UK, including ten in Scotland, told staff earlier this month that it had hired administrators from PwC to oversee the process.

Last year, the retailer agreed a deal to borrow £40m from restructuring specialist Hilco after posting significant losses.

The company said it had “no choice” but to file for the potential insolvency but will continue a possible rescue takeover.

Jane Steer, joint administrator at PwC, said: “It’s with great sadness that we announce these 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.

“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.”

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