High street giant Wilko will close all of its Suffolk in the coming months as a last-ditch bid to save the firm falls through, according to the GMB union.

A last-ditch attempt by the owner of HMV to strike a rescue deal for stricken retailer Wilko, which has stores in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds, has failed, intensifying fears over the future of thousands of jobs.

Administrators for the high street chain had been in discussions with Doug Putman, of Putman Investments, over a deal to buy about 200 Wilko shops.

The GMB union said it had discussions with the retailer’s administrators on Monday morning.

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: “Wilko was far more than a brand, a retailer or the products it sold, it was the thousands of loyal team members now facing an uncertain future.

“Wilko may have ceased genuinely being a family brand many years ago, but the staff kept the real family ethos of Wilko alive until the very end. It is the family that wilko colleagues made for themselves that will be missed the most.  

“This isn’t a tragedy without cause. Wilko should have thrived in a bargain retail sector that is otherwise strong, but it was run into the ground by the business owners.

“Money was siphoned out of the business for dividends, warnings about what needed to be done to save the business were not heeded and advice around what the business to do to thrive was not listened to.

“No worker caused the downfall of Wilko. But they will be the ones who will suffer – all as the owners get off scot-free. GMB will not stop campaigning for the owners of this debacle to be held to account.”

Mr Putman, founder of Putman Investments, said: “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko having worked with administrators and suppliers over several weeks to seek a viable way to rescue it as a going concern."

This week the retailer will shut 52 shops, including its store in Lowestoft, in a move which will lead to 1,016 redundancies.

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, which employed about 12,500 staff, has already announced a £13million deal to sell 51 shops to B&M, although the rival discounter has not agreed to take on Wilko workers as part of the deal.