Shirebrook retail giant Sports Direct to close its Wigan warehouse

Sports Direct’s Shirebrook headquarters could receive an influx of staff after it was announced that its warehouse in Wigan is set to close.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 11:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 11:14 am

About 300 jobs are set to be lost at the Wigan warehouse, however staff members have allegedly been told that there may be jobs on offer at the company’s large Shirebrook depot.

The decision to leave Wigan is believed to involve the lease on the building.

The company had a 10-year lease taken out in 2014 with an option to end it early after five years which it appears they have chosen to do so.

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Sports Direct, Shirebrook
Sports Direct, Shirebrook

The retail giant is believed to employ about 300 people at the site, about half them permanent, and the rest agency staff.

They mostly work in the warehouse packing Sports Direct goods for distribution across the country.

Employees told our sister title Wigan Today how staff from the retail giant’s HR department travelled from the Derbyshire headquarters to Wigan to deliver the bad news.

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “It was a bolt from the blue. No-one had any inkling it was coming.

Mike Ashley, CEO of Sports Direct.

“People were in tears, people have taken out mortgages and now they have no jobs.

“It’s devastating.”

“There was a suggestion that there may be some jobs going at the site in Shirebrook which has been expanded, but no-one from Wigan could commute there each day.”

GMB said the closure was a “body blow” for the entire region and accused Sports Direct of being renowned for putting workers second.

Paul McCarthy, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “This closure is another body blow for the North West – caused by a company with a track record of putting profits before people.

“The hard-working, dedicated staff at the warehouse have already been put through the grinder once when the site was run by JJB - and now this.

“GMB will not rest until every member receives the redundancy pay they are legally entitled. Then we will discuss next steps.”

Employees who contacted Wigan Today said some people had been working there for 30 years, previously employed by JJB Sports at the same site.

Sports Direct has been approached for comment but is yet to respond.