HIGH street retailer Wilko has confirmed it will be closing its store in Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre next month. 

The Bournemouth store is one of 15 across the country that is set to close - something GMB union describes as ‘another nail in the high street’s coffin’. 

Wilko has briefed its team members in Bournemouth of the decision to close the store at the end of its lease in February unless more favourable terms can be agreed with landlords.

A spokesperson said: “We have been looking at our options, but the reality is that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the landlord that makes this store commercially viable.”

Big blow to the town centre

The closure of the Bournemouth store will come as a big blow to the town centre with Wilko being a big draw for shoppers in the region.

Bournemouth Echo: Wilko in the Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre Wilko in the Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre

Each store will have a 30-day consultation period, while permanent recruitment in the vicinity of each site will freeze. 

Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, said:  "These closures are devastating for Wilko workers and the communities who use them. 

“It’s yet another nail in the High Street’s coffin and GMB calls on councils and landlords to review commercial leases and offer lower rents. 

“Empty high streets and shopping centres are in no one’s interest and but with 400 shops a week closing, this is inevitable  - unless the costs of premises can be reduced. 

“GMB will now meet with Wilko members to discuss our next steps.” 

The CEO of Wilko has confirmed the company will continue to support affected team members by offering them roles at nearby stores.

READ MORE: Marks and Spencer closes for final time in Poole

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO said: “Our history is steeped in serving our customers and communities going back to 1930 but there’s no denying the way people shop with us and where they want to shop with us is changing.  

“As a business we’re evolving and this includes working with landlords for more favourable terms, as well as looking at locations and store formats. We’ll continue to pull together to make our business better to secure the future of over 16,000 team members.”

“We’ll be doing everything we can to support our affected team members who will be offered any available positions in nearby stores. 

"We apologise to customers but will continue to offer them everything they need in nearby stores or via wilko.com.”

The nearest alternative Wilko stores are located in Winton and Boscombe.