More than 1,000 people are to exit variety store group Wilko following a redundancy consultation involving 3,712 staff, Retail Week can reveal.
The value retailer has accepted 1,030 applications for redundancy from store staff and has made 19 redundancies where staff could not be redeployed.
The retailer has promoted and redeployed 2,663 members of store staff and is now recruiting for 224 new supervisor roles.
Wilko kicked off its redundancy consultation in August, as revealed by Retail Week, shortly after it posted an 80% slump in full-year profits.
The subsequent restructure has resulted in assistant manager positions and store supervision roles being stripped out, with a number of the latter being consolidated into team supervisor roles.
Retail director Anthony Houghton said: “We thought long and hard about undertaking this review and knew it would be difficult.
“We also knew that it was necessary if we were to maintain our presence and continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape.
“In consultation with the GMB, our recognised trade union, we listened to what team members wanted and made changes based on that.”
The value retailer’s restructure comes shortly after Sainsbury’s unveiled plans to axe 2,000 roles in a cost-cutting drive, the bulk of which were made across its store estate.
Chief operating officer Sean Toal added: “Despite the challenging retail landscape Wilko has seen both positive customer numbers and sales growth during 2017.
“The undeniable truth, however, was that this was not translating into positive results despite hard work to reduce costs, grow Wilko-brand product and digital sales and continue investment in IT and infrastructure.
“This is not sustainable into the future and we had to make some tough decisions to reorganise.
“As a family-owned retailer we had to balance this against our need for care, compassion and thoughtfulness to our team members.
“Wilko has ambitious plans to deliver growth through a better product and ever-improving customer experience. There is a strong new store opening pipeline and digital growth strategy that will see the retailer invest in its infrastructure to drive future growth.”
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