WILKO has announced it will be closing its Redditch store in May this year.
The company said it had briefed its team members about the decision relating to the Kingfisher Centre shop, citing it not being able to agree ‘favourable lease terms’ with the landlord.
A Wilko spokesperson said: “We have been looking at our options, but the reality is that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the landlord that makes this store commercially viable.”
Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO, added: “Our history is steeped in serving our customers and communities going back to 1930 but there’s no denying the way people shop with us and where they want to shop with us is changing.
“As a business we’re evolving and this includes working with landlords for more favourable terms, as well as looking at locations and store formats.
“We’ll continue to pull together to make our business better to secure the future of over 16,000 team members.”
He added the firm would do all it could to support team members affected and any available positions in nearby stores would be offered to them.
“We apologise to customers but will continue to offer them everything they need in nearby stores or via wilko.com.”
The GMB Union said 30 staff members were affected at the Redditch store, adding it was one of 13 planned for closure across the country, affecting 330 employees.
Roger Jenkins, GMB National Officer, said: “These closures are devastating for Wilko workers and the communities who use them.
“It’s yet another nail in the High Street’s coffin and GMB calls on councils and landlords to review commercial leases and offer lower rents.
“Empty high streets and shopping centres are in no one’s interest and but with 400 shops a week closing, this is inevitable – unless the costs of premises can be reduced.
“GMB will now meet with Wilko members to discuss our next steps.”
Several claims were made on the Redditch Standard Facebook page that the staff were not informed of the decision and found out when our story went live on the website.
One person who wrote to the Standard on behalf of the staff said: “The article surrounding the Wilko Redditch closure was the first announcement to the staff, my mum included.
“They did not know prior and have not been told nor had any discussions of transfer or redundancy.
“I would just like to clear that up for many others who have reason to believe otherwise.”
A Kingfisher Centre spokesperson said: “We have had no communication from Wilko regarding this matter and are therefore unable to comment at this stage.
“We consistently strive to support and serve our local community and always aim to work with businesses that share this ambition.”
The nearest Wilko store for Redditch residents will now be Northfield.