Wilko is pulling out of Rochdale – and this time it’s definite
Rochdale town centre has suffered a blow with the news one of its biggest stores is to close.
Wilko has announced it is shutting up shop in the Wheatsheaf Centre when its lease expires on September 8.
The discount homeware company said it had taken the decision ‘with regret’ and ‘only after the most rigorous review of all the options’.
Staff at the shop, which opened 19 years ago, have been informed of the closure.
A Wilko spokesperson said: “Wilko has, with regret, briefed its team members in Rochdale of the decision to close the store on Saturday, September 8, following the expiry of the lease.
“The company said that the decision had been taken only after the most rigorous review of all the options and the likely effects on its loyal team members and long-standing customers in the town.
“We’ve loved serving our customers in Rochdale but the lease is expiring and so our presence in the town centre will come to an end.
“Very sadly, we have found no viable alternative to closure but we’ll be doing everything we can to support our team members who will be offered any available positions at our other stores in the region.
“We apologise to our loyal customers in Rochdale and will continue to offer them great choice, value and quality until the last day of trading in the town or online at wilko.com.”
Wheatsheaf manager Mark Foxley said “We can confirm that after reaching the end of its planned timeframe in the centre, the Wilko store will no longer be trading in the Wheatsheaf from early September.
“Our exciting plans for the Wheatsheaf Centre includes leisure, healthcare, and entertainment, all of which engage and unite the town’s community.
“We continue to believe in Rochdale as a place which is bouncing back, and think the people of Rochdale are united in wanting to support a better, improved town centre which is a great place to live, visit, work and play.”
Town centre manager Paul Ambrose said: “I’m confident that the completion of Rochdale Riverside, the opening of a new market and food hall on The Butts, the refurbishment of the town hall and the continuation of the business rates reduction scheme will make the town centre more attractive to residents, businesses and visitors.
“Whilst it is disappointing to hear that Wilko will no longer be trading from September, the continued investment into the town centre will ensure its revival continues.”
It’s not the first time Wilko has planned to shut its Rochdale store.
In 2014 bosses announced the Wheatsheaf branch was to close, but later reversed the decision.
At the time, a Wilko spokesperson said the store had ‘suffered badly’ during the recession and economic downturn and that the decision had been taken after a ‘most rigorous appraisal of trading’ and ‘full consideration’ of the effect on its staff and customers.
They added: “We’ve loved serving our customers in Rochdale for the last 15 years but, very sadly, the store has suffered badly from the economic turndown.”
But the following year the company announced it had agreed a new three year lease with the Wheatsheaf owners.
However that lease is due to expire in September, and this time it appears it won’t be renewed.
Got a story or an issue you want us to investigate? Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – in complete confidence – by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling us on 0161 211 2323, tweeting us @MENnewsdesk or messaging us on our Facebook page .
You can also send us a story tip using the form here . Join the Manchester Evening News breaking news Facebook group for a place to read and talk about breaking news in Greater Manchester.