11 September 2023
Collapse of Negotiations to Save Wilko Stores
I am contacting you to raise my deep concerns about the collapse of negotiations for the purchase of Wilko stores. Today it was announced that over 400 Wilko stores across the country will close by early October with distribution centres due to close on Friday, 15th September.
These 400 stores, distribution centres, and the head offices employ over 12,500 people, including approximately 59 employees working at Wilko in Luton South. Although separate bids may be made for leases of groups of these sites, this will still leave deep uncertainty as to whether jobs will be saved.
I am therefore requesting you provide an urgent response to the following questions:
- What steps will you now take to ensure the tens of thousands of Wilko employees now facing redundancy will be supported into new employment?
- What is the Government doing to ensure proper, meaningful consultation is conducted by employers and administrators, with employees and trade union representatives, and that they are prevented from exploiting loopholes that allow for workers to be laid off without having complied with the full 45-day period as clearly stated under law?
- There is still time for the government to help facilitate the sale of Wilko stores, either as part of a package or individually. What is the government doing to support the sale of Wilko stores and protect as many jobs as possible?
Shuttered up shops have sadly become the norm, with highstreets across the country struggling after 13 years of Conservative government. Despite this, there seems to be no plan from government for our high streets. Wilko is not the first example of this tragedy, and I fear it will not be the last. The government must not sit back and watch our high streets fail.
I look forward to receiving a timely response that I may share with my constituents.
Rachel Hopkins MP
Member of Parliament for Luton South