Thousands of jobs under threat in major shake-up at Wilko

The Wilko store on Haymarket, in Sheffield city centre
The Wilko store on Haymarket, in Sheffield city centre

Thousands of jobs are under threat at discount chain Wilko.

The home retailer, which has five stores in Sheffield, two each in Barnsley and Rotherham, and one in Doncaster, announced it has entered redundancy consultation with nearly 4,000 staff.

It said that following a review of its operating functions, changes were required to 'ensure it is best placed to continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape'.

Wilko said it is consulting with 3,900 of its store supervisory team about a new management structure, alongside trade union the GMB. It added that 1,000 new senior supervisor roles will be created as part of the shake-up, along with a 'significant amount' of customer service positions.

The news comes after the company posted an 80 per cent drop in pre-tax profits, to £5.1 million, in the year to January 28, and weeks after it complained about a rise in costs due to the falling value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

Anthony Houghton, Wilko's retail director, said: "Despite the challenging retail landscape, Wilko has seen both positive customer numbers and like-for-like sales growth this year.

"This is not translating into positive results despite all the hard work to reduce costs, grow own-brand and digital sales.

"Following independent studies we identified a legacy of retail structures that created complexity to manage which aren't simple, fair or transparent for our team members.

"The simpler newly defined store structure will give teams greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience."