SHOPPERS in Basingstoke have reacted with sadness to the prospect that the town’s Wilko store could close.

The retailer announced on Thursday, August 10, that it has appointed administrators after failing to secure a rescue deal.

Over 12,000 jobs across Wilko’s 400 stores, including the shop in The Malls, in Basingstoke, have been put at risk.

Previously, Wilko filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators at the High Court.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Tony Richards, who was out shopping with his wife Janice, said: “It’s a great shame I am just going there now. I think the big problem is they are in the town centre and people go to places like Home Bargains where you often get free parking so I think they have fallen a bit behind the times in terms of their location.

"It’s very sad to see more shops closing down but it’s almost inevitable with the times and the high rents. Just walking around Basingstoke it’s really sad to see that so many shops are empty and the ones that have closed down over the years. It’s just a sign of the times as they are competing with online shopping.”

Carrie Bennett, who lives in Basingstoke and shops in Wilko regularly, said: “I’m really disappointed to hear it could close because when Woolworths closed down I started coming here and I have now really relied on it.

"It’s definitely really sad to hear more shops are closing down in Basingstoke and every time I come into town we always go to Wilko. You can get everything you need, whether it’s bin bags, a washing up brush or new bed linen it has it all.”

Sylwia Wadowska, who lives in Basingstoke, said: “It’s not good to hear the shop could close down because they have great prices and I shop here often.

"I love to buy lots of things in the shop. It’s very sad to see another shop closing down as it’s becoming like a ghost town and that’s not good for Basingstoke.”

Celia Moore, who had just finished looking around the shop, said: “It does make me feel sad, I shall be very sorry to see it go if it does. It is a bonus for this side of town as well as I think it’s quite a quiet area and it will be even quieter than it is now. It’s so sad to see the town now. It’s like chicken and eggs the fewer shops there are here the fewer people will come to Basingstoke and shops aren’t doing the trade so they will close.”

READ MORE: Wilko collapses into administration as 12,000 jobs at risk

In an open letter, chief executive Mark Jackson said: “Over the past six months Wilko has been very open that we’ve been considering options to accelerate a turnaround plan given that we needed to make significant changes to the way we operate to restore confidence and stabilise our business.

“We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.

“We’ve all fought hard to keep this incredible business intact but must concede that time has run out and now we must do what’s best to preserve as many jobs as possible, for as long as is possible, by working with our appointed administrators.”