Wilko has entered into administration putting many of its stores at risk of closure, including its ones in Essex.

The retailer, which runs more than 400 stores across the UK, told staff on Thursday (August 10) that it has hired administrators from PwC to oversee the process.

Mark Jackson, chief executive officer of Wilko, said the firm had “a significant level of interest” but was “left with no choice but to take this unfortunate action” after being unable to close a deal within time.

In a letter, he added: "We’ve all fought hard to keep this incredible business intact but must concede that time has run out and now we must do what’s best to preserve as many jobs as possible, for as long as is possible, by working with our appointed administrators.”

Wilko stores in Essex that could be at risk of closure

There are a total of nine Wilko stores in Essex, and these locations could be at risk of closure due to the current situation.

These are as follows:

  • Basildon (Unit 11, Westgate Park, Basildon SS14 1WP)
  • Brentwood (Unit 8, The Bay Tree Centre, Brentwood CM14 4BX)
  • Chelmsford (Unit 38 The Meadows, Chelmsford CM2 6FD)
  • Clacton (32-36 Station Rd, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1SX)
  • Colchester (Unit 1, St John's Walk, Colchester CO2 7AL)
  • Grays (Unit 1, The Mall, Shopping Centre, Grays RM17 6QF)
  • Harlow (Unit 41, The Harvey Centre, Harlow CM20 1XP)
  • Southend (Unit B7, Victoria Centre, Chartwell Square, Southend-on-Sea SS2 5SP)
  • Thurrock (Unit 55, Lakeside Shopping Centre, West Thurrock, Grays, RM20 2ZP)

Wilko had launched a turnaround plan earlier this year after its sales and shopper footfall came under pressure as consumer budgets were hammered by the rising cost of living.

Administrators will now seek out potential buyers for the firm’s store estate and its brand.

Nadine Houghton, national officer at the GMB union, said: “The 12,000 Wilko workers now facing potential redundancy will take little solace that with better management the situation that has befallen Wilko was, sadly, entirely avoidable.

“GMB has been told time and time again how warnings were made that Wilko was in a prime position to capitalise on the growing bargain retailer market, but simply failed to grasp this opportunity.”