THOUSANDS of jobs at retailer Wilko are at risk after the firm confirmed it has entered redundancy consultation with nearly 4,000 staff.

Wilko has stores in Bournemouth, Poole, Ferndown, Winton and Boscombe, so this could affect hundreds of families across the conurbation as workers go through this stressful process.

The discount chain said, following a review of its operating functions, changes are required to “ensure it is best placed to continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape”.

Wilko said it is consulting with 3,900 of its store supervisory team about a new management structure, alongside trade union the GMB.

It added that 1,000 new senior supervisor roles will be created as part of the shake-up, as well as a “significant amount” of customer service roles.

The move comes after Wilko posted an 80 percent plunge in pre-tax profits to £5.1 million in the year to January 28.

This was largely due to a £12.9m jump in costs after the EU referendum led to a sterling slump.

Wilko has also hit out at the National Living Wage, saying that it “was well above expected levels” and had really hit the retailer hard.

Anthony Houghton, Wilko retail director, said that the move was necessary to ensure “all retail operations are fit for the future”.

He added that despite the amount of customers rising and efforts being made to reduce costs, the current landscape remains very challenging and this has meant to the lowering of profits.

“Despite the challenging retail landscape Wilko has seen both positive customer numbers and like-for-like sales growth this year,” he added.

“This is not translating into positive results despite all the hard work to reduce costs, grow own-brand and digital sales.

“Following independent studies we identified a legacy of retail structures that created complexity to manage which aren’t simple, fair or transparent for our team members.

“The simpler newly defined store structure will give teams’ greater variety within their roles and result in more team hours on the shop floor, delivering a better customer experience.”

The announcement comes following similar moves at other retailers.

Supermarket chain Tesco said earlier this year it is taking the axe to 1,200 jobs at its head office as part of a major cost-cutting drive.

And Sainsbury’s and Asda have followed suit, with reports suggesting over a 1,000 jobs are on the line at the supermarkets.