Southend's Wilko looks set to shut down as all of the retailer's 400 stores are set to close by early October, the GMB union has said.

It means redundancies now look likely for all 12,500 staff at the high-street chain.

The GMB union, which represents more than 3,000 Wilko staff, revealed the damning update after a meeting with the retailer’s administrators on Monday morning.

The retailer had already confirmed that 52 stores would shut this week - including Basildon town centre's large Wilko - leading to 1,016 redundancies with hundreds of other jobs losses across the business.

The union said on Monday that its warehouses in Worksop and Newport are now both due to close on Friday September 15.

It added that a further 124 stores are due to close next week.

Southend Council leader Tony Cox had been "cautiously optimistic" the city's popular store would remain open as it was not earmarked for closure this week.

However, confidence is growing that Southend’s Wilko will “stay open in some guise” and could become a B&M store.

Wilko hired administrators from PwC early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

It comes after a last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal for the retailer collapsed.

Administrators for the high street chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman, who bought the entertainment chain in 2019, over a deal to buy around 200 Wilko shops.

GMB said the failure to secure a deal meant that remaining offers on the table are only likely to purchase a number of Wilko store properties, and are not expected to include workers.

PwC, who are overseeing the administration, has already agreed a roughly £13 million deal to sell up to 51 Wilko stores to rival B&M.

Fellow discount retailer Poundland is still in talks with PwC in an attempt to snap up around 100 shops, according to Sky News.

Other high street chains including The Range and Home Bargains have also reportedly signalled their interest over potentially buying the Wilko brand or stores.

Wilko entered administration early last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “This is heartbreaking news for staff and their families who have been holding out hope of a deal that would protect their jobs.

“Sadly, shuttered-up shops have become the norm under the Conservatives who have weakened the foundations of our economy with local high streets paying the price.”