Silver lining | Aldi swoops in to save embattled Wilko workers with jobs

Aldi swoops in to save embattled Wilko workers with jobs

Retail chain Wilko recently declared its entry into administration, putting the jobs of 12,500 employees and the fate of its 400 stores in jeopardy, after failing to secure a buyer.

PwC, entrusted with seeking buyers for all or parts of the business, revealed that despite ongoing discussions with potential buyers, the interest primarily revolved around acquiring specific segments rather than the entire company.

In a statement, PwC acknowledged the unfortunate likelihood of redundancies and store closures in the future due to the prevailing circumstances. This unsettling news comes as a blow to Wilko employees who are now facing an uncertain future.

However, Aldi has emerged as a silver lining for those affected by the turmoil.

With more than 6,000 job openings across its UK stores, the supermarket giant is reaching out to Wilko workers, inviting them to explore opportunities within its expanding network.

Looking for more

Aldi aims to offer these workers long-term employment in retail roles, ranging from positions such as Store Assistant and Caretaker to more advanced roles like Store Manager.

The supermarket's reputation for being the best-paid employer in the UK supermarket sector will no doubt tempt now ex-Wilko staff.

Starting pay for Store Assistants stands at £11.40 per hour, while those based in London receive £12.85 per hour. Additionally, Aldi is the only supermarket to compensate employees for breaks, which can amount to up to £972 annually.

Kelly Stokes, Recruitment Director at Aldi UK, expressed that Aldi's growth efforts are aligned with offering opportunities to individuals who have been impacted by the Wilko situation.

She stated, "We continue to welcome more and more customers to Aldi stores every week, and we are working hard to meet the huge demand for our unbeatable prices.

“That means finding thousands of new Aldi colleagues to support this growth, which will hopefully be of interest to those who have recently lost out due to closures elsewhere."

As the retail industry navigates challenging times, Aldi's initiative shines a light on some of the more unconventional ways companies can approach the challenges being faced in the recruitment space.

By providing a pathway for affected workers to transition to new roles, Aldi is not only extending a helping hand to those affected workers, but also contributing to maintaining its own burgeoning workforce.

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