Wilko stores across the UK could begin closing "within weeks" leading to a significant number of redundancies.

Wilko announced it had fallen into administration earlier this month after failing to secure a rescue deal, putting more than 400 stores and 12,500 jobs across the UK at risk.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has taken over the administration process for Wilko.

Upon their appointment in early August, PwC warned while stores would continue to trade as normal initially, if a buyer for some or all of the group was not found, "it is likely that store closures and redundancies will follow".

Union reveals Wilko stores could close within weeks

Now, the GMB union - which represents more than 3000 Wilko workers - has claimed the majority of Wilko stores are to shut “within weeks”.

Originally, the union said all stores would be closing within the next week, but amended their statement to say "within weeks".

GMB said it was told in a meeting that “there is no longer any prospect that the majority of the business will be saved”.

As a result, it said there are expected to be redundancies affecting staff in-store and within the company's call centres.

GMB national secretary, Andy Prendergast, said: “GMB union will continue to support members through this process and will fight to ensure members are consulted as per the law and that you receive every penny you are entitled to.

“GMB will not forget the incompetence that has led to this collapse and will we not forget the dividends paid to the millionaires who gambled your jobs on their whims.”

Labour's shadow business secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, responding to the news, said the closure would be "devastating" and would have a "massive impact on their high streets".

Mr Reynolds said: "This is devastating news that will likely see stores close across the country.

“Their loss will have a massive impact on their high streets and my thoughts are with those Wilko staff and their families facing this dreadful news.

“Sadly, shuttered-up shops and struggling high streets has become the norm after 13 years of Conservative economic failure."

Wilko stores at risk of closing

There are 408 Wilko stores across the UK (at the time of publication) which are all at risk of closing in the coming weeks.

These stores employ more than 12,500 staff.

Wilko stores are located across the UK including in places like London (nine stores), Leeds (seven) and Leicester (five).

See the map below for the full list of Wilko stores located across the UK:

Administrators confirm there will be "redundancies and store closures"

Joint administrators of Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd (Wilko) Jane Steer, Zelf Hussain and Edward Williams from PwC released a statement following the comments from GMB assuring customers and employees there are “no plans to close any stores next week”.

But the statement did say there would be "redundancies and store closures" coming.

The statement said: “Since our appointment as administrators of Wilko, we have held extensive discussions with parties who expressed an interest in buying all or part of the business.

“While discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business, it’s clear that the nature of this interest is not focused on the whole group.

“Sadly, it is therefore likely that there will be redundancies and store closures in the future, and it has today been necessary to update employee representatives.

Watford Observer: Wilko stores could close across the UK within weeks.Wilko stores could close across the UK within weeks. (Image: Newsquest)

“We know this will further add to the uncertainty felt by workers. We will be supporting staff through this deeply unsettling time, working closely with the Government, JobCentre plus, unions and large employers to maximise possibilities for a rapid return to work for employees in the event of redundancies.

“In the immediate term, all stores remain open, continue to trade and staff continue to be paid.

"Contrary to speculation, there are currently no plans to close any stores next week.”

Other UK retailers including Dunelm and The Works have recently reached out to Wilko staff offering them "guaranteed" job interviews following news the company had entered administration.