Jobs at risk at retail chain Wilko

Jobs could be lost at Wilko stores after the retailer announced up to 3,900 redundancies.

The company, which has shops in Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford and Leeds, said job losses would affect stock supervisors, till supervisors and assistant managers.

Wilko has started redundancy consultations with staff after reporting an 80 per cent fall in profits.

But the firm, which employs 20,000 at more than 400 stores around the country, said around 1,000 senior supervisor roles would be created in the restructure.

Retail director Anthony Houghton said: “As a family run business, we care greatly about team members and know that change is never easy.

“We are working with our recognised trade union the GMB, listening to team members and offering support at all levels.

“We are entering into a long period of consultation and wherever possible are aiming to redeploy team members into new roles and offering help and support to those seeking new opportunities.”

In its last accounts Wilko said Brexit, along with exchange rates and the introduction of the national living wage, had hit business over the past year.

The company said: “Chancellor Osborne’s final austerity budget surprised the industry by its unilateral imposition of a statutory minimum living wage at well above expected levels.”

Despite the fall in profits Wilko still paid out more than £3m in dividends to its owners.