Shoppers and staff feel “strung along” as they wait to find out Wilko’s fate after the deadline for rescue bids closed, says a Bolton MP.

The chain, which has a large branch on Deansgate in Bolton town centre, went into administration last week putting thousands of jobs around the country at risk.

The deadline has now passed for potential bids on Wednesday with administrators PwC set to start weighing up bids from Friday, with the fate of jobs at the Deansgate and Middlebrook Retail Park branches still uncertain.

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said: “There needs to be better communication on what is happening and some closure so that staff in the Bolton branch can move on.

“I'm hearing from them that they feel they are being strung along, still going into work with little or nothing to do.

The Bolton News: Wilko branches all over the country are under threatWilko branches all over the country are under threat (Image: Newsquest)

“Again, it feels that the workers in retail and service industries are an afterthought for the owners and administrators.”

Over the last two weeks, Bolton shoppers have reacted with dismay at the news that yet another well known name could be leaving the high street.

This comes not long after Marks and Spencer and Clinton Cards’ departure from the town centre.

After the deadline for bids passed on Wednesday, it is believed that the administrators will then start sorting through them from Friday onwards.

Wilko will stay open while the insolvency process takes place but it is not known how long sorting through the bids will take.

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Alongside the Bolton branches, around 400 all across the country are at risk.

But mangers have said they have worked hard to try and save the company.

Last week, Wilko CEO Mark Jackson said: “Over the past six months we’ve been open with all our stakeholders including our team members 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.”