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Two-thirds of redundant Notts Wilko staff are now back in work

An estimated 2,000 people later lost their jobs over September and October at the headquarters, distribution centre and Nottinghamshire stores.

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Two-thirds of Nottinghamshire Wilko staff made redundant after the retailer collapsed are now back in work.

Three local premises have also reopened as other businesses, while interest is being shown in another four.

The Worksop-based high street chain collapsed into administration in August 2023 after losses and a fall in customers driven by pandemic.

An estimated 2,000 people later lost their jobs over September and October at the headquarters, distribution centre and Nottinghamshire stores.

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Since then, 68 per cent of staff looking to return to the workforce have secured new jobs, according to a report by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Local jobs fairs were organised to quickly get people back into work, with the authority signposting jobseekers to new opportunities or training.

District and borough councils have also worked with the private sector to attract new businesses into the vacant stores on Nottinghamshire’s high streets.

The state of the ten stores across the county which closed in September and October last year is as follows;

  • Arnold– reopened as B&M
  • Beeston – still closed
  • Carlton Square– currently closed to allow Farmfoods to expand from their adjoining premise.
  • Hucknall – due to be reopened by The Range (March 15)
  • Kimberley– reopened as Poundland
  • Mansfield – still closed, but with good interest being shown
  • Newark – still closed, but with good interest being shown
  • Retford – still closed, but with some interest being shown
  • Sutton in Ashfield – still closed, some early interest being shown
  • Worksop – reopened as Poundland.

The store on Lower Parliament Street in Nottingham also remains closed.

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The headquarters and large distribution centre in Worksop was taken over by DHL in December, with the majority of staff re-employed there.

Some of the staff who lost their jobs have also chosen not to look for new work.

More than 60 businesses attended a redundancy event in Worksop, where around 300 people had been put out of work.

The former chair of Wilko told a committee of MPs shortly after that she was “devastated” by the collapse, which cost around 12,000 jobs nationwide.

Lisa Wilkinson, granddaughter of the founder James Wilkinson, said executives had let staff down.

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She partly blamed the Liz Truss government’s mini budget, which caused a jump in the interest rates of a loan Wilko was trying to secure.

B&M and Poundland each bought more than 50 former Wilko stores, while The Range acquired the brand and website. It has relaunched three stores so far.

The support for former staff will be discussed at a meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Overview Committee on Thursday, March 14.

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