Wilko Store Threat – Betts Intervenes

Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East and Chair of Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee] has sought an urgent meeting with the Retail Director of WILKO Stores following speculation about the closure of the WILKO store in Darnall, Sheffield.

Clive Betts said:

“I have been contacted by a number of Darnall residents about the speculation surrounding the future of the WILKO store in Darnall. This speculation is now featuring in social media.

As a result, I have asked WILKO to squash the rumour.

However, if WILKO is actively considering the possibility of the closure of the Darnall store, I have asked for an urgent meeting with Craig McGregor, WILKO’s new Retail Director, to discuss the issue.”

Clive Betts continued:

I know that the retail sector in the UK is going through turbulent times. This is not just affecting town centres and High Streets, but also district shopping centres like Darnall.

Darnall shopping centre has gone through very difficult times. The premises that WILKO now occupy were formerly a supermarket which anchored the centre.

The Post Office in Darnall was only saved by the active involvement of the Darnall Forum and local residents.

It would be a big blow to Darnall if WILKO were to close.”

Clive Betts continued:

“As the Chair of the All-Party House of Commons’ Committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government – which is currently undertaking an Inquiry in to the High Streets and Town Centres in 2030, including detailed consideration of the future of business rates (NNDR) – I am fully aware of the general issues relating to the current and prospective states of the retail sector in the UK.

WILKO is a very important retail player, with turnover exceeding £1.6bn, and about 20,000 employees working in some 400 stores across the UK.

As well as having an important presence on many High Streets, it is also a very significant part of many district shopping centres.”

Clive Betts concluded:

“I am looking for the earliest response from WILKO to discuss both the future of the Darnall store and WILKO’s perspectives on the current and future retail challenges.”


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