THERE are concerns about the future of jobs at an Ammanford store, following the appointment of administrators of the store’s parent company.

Wilkinson Hardware Stores Ltd, Wilko Ltd, and Ltd – commonly known as Wilko – was put in administration last week, with the appointment of administrators from PwC on Thursday, August 10.

There are 400 stores across the UK, including one in Ammanford. The company employs around 12,500 people across the UK, with just under 1,000 employed across Wales.

Ammanford councillor Deian Harris said: “This is potentially devastating news for the town. Wilko’s currently occupy a massive unit and replacing them will be incredibly difficult, so it is really important that we find a way to keep it open.”

Adam Price, MS for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, said: “Times are incredibly tough at the moment and my thoughts are firmly with those 12,000 employees whose jobs are at risk. Wilko’s has been present in Ammanford for so many years and to lose it would be a major hit to the economy of the town.

“It is vital that a solution is found so that the store may continue to operate.”

Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, said: “The news that Wilko has fallen into administration will be deeply worrying news for those employed at the Ammanford store. It will also be a blow to the high street and Ammanford as a town.

“As the administration process takes place, let’s hope an alternative buyer can be found for the business to preserve as much economic activity as possible.

“UK Government ministers within the department for work and pensions need to ensure Jobcentre plus is ready to help anyone that might need employment support as a result of these sad developments. I have written to the secretary of state for work and pensions to ask what support will be available to constituents affected.”

Following the appointment of PwC’s Jane Steer, Zelf Hussain and Edward Williams as administrators, they have announced that all stores will continue to trade without immediate redundancies, but if no buyer for the group is found, then there could be closures and redundancies.

Zelf Hussain said: “It is incredibly sad that a well-loved, family business that has been on the high street for over 90 years has had to go into administration today. I know the management team has left no stone unturned in trying to save the business.

“Many high street retailers are facing a number of well-documented challenges and Wilko has been significantly impacted by the headwinds facing the industry including inflationary pressure and rising interest rates.

“Wilko has been a staple of many British high streets for decades. We know that the appointment of administrators, which comes during an already challenging time for many, will be an unsettling development for everyone involved with the business – particularly its committed team members – and the communities it serves.

“As administrators we will continue to engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business. Stores will continue to trade as normal for the time being and staff will continue to be paid.”

Although administrators have said that the stores will continue to operate, local politicians have expressed concern about their constituents in Ammanford who could potentially lose their jobs.