Wilkinsons staff waiting on jobs axe

Staff working for a High Street chain discount store in Dereham and Thetford are waiting to hear how many jobs are being axed as the company slashes its operating costs.

Staff working for a High Street chain discount store in Dereham and Thetford are waiting to hear how many jobs are being axed as the company slashes its operating costs.

Wilkinson's management is due to reveal how many redundancies would be made across its 312 stores in England and Wales.

It has stressed that the job cuts are not related to trading conditions on the High Street where it was experiencing “robust trading”.

It operates stores throughout the region, including Dereham, King's Lynn, Thetford, Ely, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.


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The company, which employs a total of 25,000 staff, issued a new statement this week and revealed that, after consultation, it had now briefed employees likely to be affected.

But it stressed the company was committed to minimising impacts on affected employees wherever possible and was adopting a package of job-saving measures.

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These include reduction in overtime working, a freeze on recruitment of new staff, finding vacant positions at other stores within travelling distance and seeking voluntary redundancies where necessary.

But the company insists its job cuts are a result of the introduction of a new CPR stock control and handling system. The system reduces the number of times stock needs to be handled in store as well as the volume of stock a branch holds.

The statement says that the implementation of the CPR is part of a long-term and on-going programme of business efficiency improvements. It stresses it is unconnected to the current retail trading environment.

A company spokesman said : “We care passionately about our team members and we remain determined to minimise any effect CPR might have on our existing and loyal teams”.

It continued: “This new system has been in development for some time and has nothing to do with retail conditions on the High Street where we are experiencing robust trading as people seek better-value, quality products”.

Wilkinson's has become the store known for its bargain-priced goods and has been run by the Wilkinson family since 1930. It generates more than �1billion in annual sales.

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