Jobs axed as Cannock Wilko to close its doors after 28 years
Wilko will close its shop in Cannock town centre after nearly three decades of trading – with more than a dozen jobs set to be axed.
The move, which has been on the cards for the last three years, was confirmed by the homewares giant after workers told the Express & Star the doors were to close at the Forum Shopping Centre-based store on March 31.
Out of 24 jobs in total, up to ten could be saved by transfers to other stores while nine staff have opted for redundancy and contracts for five temporary workers will end.
Bosses at Wilko, which has been in the town centre for 28 years, stated that after three years of negotiating the lease they had finally 'exhausted' all of their options.
A spokesman said: "Our team members have really supported the Cannock community raising £1,400 for Cancer Research, their chosen charity.
"We know that they – and our loyal customers – will be very disappointed that we have to leave the town, particularly as this store has traded for twenty eight years.
"But many will be aware that we have only been able to keep Cannock open for the last three years as a result of ongoing negotiations with the landlord.
"Now, regrettably, all our options have been exhausted and there are no further viable routes.
"Many of our team members at the store are relocating and we hope that our loyal Cannock customers will be able to shop with us again at other stores in the area as well as via wilko.com."
Cannock Chase District Council has expressed its 'regret' over the announcement.
Michael Tichford, head of economic development, said: "The council has had no direct contact with Wilko on this matter, however, we have been aware for four or more years that they have been considering their future in the town centre due to poor turnover, however, they have during that period continued to renew their lease.
"The council considers that Wilko provide a valuable contribution to the town centre offer and regret the loss of the store."
He added: "The council regrets any job losses but are hopeful that with current low unemployment levels other work will be available and if requested will do what it can to assist the stores management in supporting staff."
Lee Baron Ltd manages the shopping centre, but no-one was available for comment.