Update: 180 face redundancies at Hemel’s Wickes depot

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Bosses at Wickes have confirmed that they are considering closing a distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead.

Insiders at the depot revealed that a staff meeting was held this morning to announce that 180 redundancies are on the table.

Chiefs at the trade and DIY firm had previously refused to tell hemeltoday whether closure was being considered.

But a spokesman for Wickes today said: “Delivering value for money products and services to our customers has never been more important, as the retail trading environment in which we operate continues to be very challenging. We have aligned our business to meet the demands of our customers by improving availability, introducing inventory reduction programmes and maximising the efficiency of our operations.

“Our supply chain operations are an integral part of our business, and we frequently review our distribution network to ensure that we are doing all we can to deliver those improvements. In light of this review, and as the lease on our building expires in November 2013, we are discussing with our employees the possibility of closing our operation at Swallowdale Lane and relocating the activity to an existing facility in Northampton.

“All current employees will be offered reasonable alternative employment at this location.

“We fully understand the impact this proposed decision will have on those affected, and we will be supporting them fully throughout this difficult time.”

One worker told hemeltoday: “We were expecting it. We knew the real story was that it was closing.”