Shoppers in Seaham were left missing the Wilko store after it closed on Tuesday (September 19) – with shelves empty and the seaside town store empty.
The Seaham store is just one of a number of closures across the North East, with Bishop Auckland and North Shields already closing branches, while further closures are due in Newton Aycliffe, Redcar, Byker and Gateshead this week.
Read more: Wilko: What will happen to the 22 Northeast branches?
As part of the closure in Seaham, Byron Place Shopping Center in the town released a farewell message to the store on behalf of the store’s staff.
The Byron Place Shopping Center post said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that our Wilko store will be closing on Tuesday 19th September.”
“The dedicated store team would like to thank you all for your years of customer satisfaction
“Here at Byron Place we will do everything we can for the employees. We wish them the best of luck for the future and will miss them very much.”
Although the news was met with sadness, it doesn’t mean all doom and gloom for the store, which will become a Poundland in the future.
This comes after a number of Wilko stores in the North East were bought by rival Poundland after a deal to rescue Wilko from HMV fell through.
According to PwP management, the deal will see the thrifty retailer take over the leases for nine Wilko North East stores.
Nationally, Pepco Group will rebrand 71 former Wilko stores in Poundland and recruit new staff, giving priority to those who previously worked in the stores.
According to the PwC administration, all 400 Wilko stores will close by the beginning of October.
Last week administrators confirmed that rival discount chain The Range had acquired Wilko’s brand, website and intellectual property.
Wilko recently suspended its online home delivery service, telling customers they would not be able to deliver orders and instead directing them to use its click-and-collect service or search for items in its stores.
Zelf Hussain, joint administrator, said: “Despite the significant and intensive efforts of both us and Putman Investments – the remaining party interested in acquiring a significant part of the business as a going concern – a transaction could not be completed due to the Inability to drive forward reduce core infrastructure costs quickly enough to make a business economically viable.
“We have been humbled by the commitment shown by all team members during this time and we are grateful for the patience and understanding they have shown.
“Like those who have already been given notice of termination, we will guide and support affected team members through the termination claims process in the coming weeks.”
“We are also continuing to work closely with the relevant authorities and are contacting potential employers to enable those affected to quickly return to new employment.”
“We continue to work with potential buyers for various business sectors and are confident of completing the transactions in the coming days.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23799242.seaham-wilko-emotional-goodbye-becoming-poundland/?ref=rss Seaham Wilko says emotional farewell before leaving Poundland