Delight as Wilko store is SAVED from closure
Staff at the Scunthorpe branch of Wilko celebrate the news that the store is stay open following threat of closure. From left Eileen Wilson, Elaine Speight, Michelle Whitworth, Adam Leaning, Cheryl Dickinson, Dawn Gould and Matt Kirk.
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 18 May 2017
AN OVERWHELMING outcry from shoppers has prompted bosses of the Wilko retail chain to change their minds about closing the branch in Scunthorpe.
And North Lincolnshire Council leader Councillor Rob Waltham hailed the decision as "great news for the town and for shoppers".
The U-turn comes less than two months after the company announced the closure of the 11-year-old store in the Parishes shopping mall, with the loss of 21 jobs.
The closure, planned for August 19, was blamed on poor trading results and added to the gloom in the Parishes, which has already lost major retailers like Bhs and TJ Hughes.
But North Lincolnshire Council offered support and two shoppers, Graham and Jenny Smith, started an online petition to try to save the business.
Now, Wilko has announced following an extensive review, it has reached an agreement to extend the lease of the Scunthorpe store for a minimum of two years.
A company spokeswoman said: "We'll also review our store to make sure we are providing the people of Scunthorpe with the great choice, value and quality products that they love and expect from us to help boost our previous trading results.
"We were overwhelmed and encouraged by the support from our valued customers in Scunthorpe, our team members, all the town residents and the council and we want to thank everyone who's been involved in helping to make this possible.
"We have been working closely with North Lincolnshire Council, our landlord and our loyal team members in Scunthorpe to come to a new agreement regarding the lease."
Mr Waltham said: "The local authority has worked really hard with the business over the last few weeks to try and secure this decision.
"I am pleased that Wilko has decided to stay. They provide a major presence in the town, offering good value products to customers. "The council is pleased to be able to support the company to remain in the town centre.
"This is great news for the town and shoppers."
Store manager Adam Leaning said: "The whole team here at Scunthorpe is delighted that we are staying open and we'd like to thank the community here for their support.
"Since the announcement to close, we received a lot of feedback from our customers, many of whom shop with us week-in, week-out, who were disappointed about us leaving the town centre.
"So it's great to be able to share this great news with them as well.
"We've seen some big retailers leave the town centre over the last few years so what we really need to do is encourage more people into the town to shop locally and make the High Street an attractive proposition.
"I hope that by Wilko committing to Scunthorpe for another few years, and with support from the local council and the landlords, we can help be a part of making that happen."