Staff at Southend's Wilko store have sent a heartfelt message to its loyal shoppers as they prepare to close for a final time next week.

Wilko previously revealed that it is to shut the doors of its last remaining stores next week as the collapse of the historic retailer comes to a close.

Wilko was originally founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester in 1930 and employed 12,500 workers before its collapse.

Echo: The store is almost completely emptyThe store is almost completely empty (Image: Gaz de Vere)

The store inside the city centre's Victoria Shopping Centre will be closing on Tuesday October 3

As a result the store's 28 employees are now facing being left without a job.

A message to customers outside the store in the centre reads: "To all of our lovely customers, thank you for all your support over the last 28 is sad to say our doors will close for the final time on Tuesday October 3 at 6.30pm.

"We would like to thank all of our customers for your amazing loyalty to us. Some of which have become our extended Wilko family. We will miss you. Love, the Southend store."

Echo: The store shuts down on TuesdayThe store shuts down on Tuesday (Image: Gaz de Vere)

Photos - taken by Gaz de Vere - offer a look inside the store, with shelves almost completely bare as the retailer sells off its remaining stock.

The hardware and furnishings retailer tumbled into administration last month after it came under pressure from weak consumer spending and debts to suppliers.

The retailer will shut its final 111 stores in early October as part of the final phase of closures, administrators for PwC said.