Llanelli and Merthyr Tydfil Wilko stores to close

WILKO is closing 15 stores across the UK and the stores in Llanelli and Merthyr Tydfil are on the list.

There is no news of the closures on the company website.

The store at Parc Trostre is to remain open.

The brand has sparked controversy in the past for the way in which it changed its sick pay terms for staff. .

It will be another blow for the retail industry and town centres.

The Llanelli store was given a reprieve in 2019 following a petition. The St. Elli Centre store has been a popular feature for shoppers in recent years.

The closure of the 15 stores comes as leases come to an end and favourable terms cannot be agreed, putting  jobs on the line.

The high street chain said the store closures would not affect any planned new openings or its ongoing stores relocation programme.

The GMB union described the announcement as “another nail in the high street’s coffin”, amid fears that hundreds of jobs would be lost.

The news has raised concerns from shoppers and retailers in Llanelli who said that the closure would have a massive negative impact on the town, which has already seen its fair share of store closures of late.

High streets in Wales have been hit badly as consumers turn to online shopping. Many of the retail giants have vanished from shopping centres with analysts predicting the trend will continue.

According to some reports at least 16 shops close down in the U.K every day. Some retailers are calling for the government to step in and have demanded a review of business rates and other taxes to ensure there is a level playing field with online rivals.

Asked about the decline of the high street and whether there was hope for business in Llanelli one market retailer said: “I certainly think there is always hope. If one is in business and doesn’t have optimism then one should get out. I do hope that the optimism can be translated to the local authority’s regeneration department and that they will work closely with independent retailers asking them what they feel is going to be of benefit to the town and not just asking the opinion of retail analysts.”

Wilko have opened a new store in Sheffield.

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