WILKO staff huddled for an emotional goodbye as they bode farewell to the much-loved shop.

The popular retailer closed the doors to its shop in Station Road, Clacton, for the final time on Thursday.

Administrators PwC announced on September 11 more than 400 Wilko stores would close and 12,500 jobs potentially lost.

The mass exodus comes after a rescue deal led by HMW owner Doug Putman – who looked set to take on 300 stores – reportedly collapsed.

The fate of Colchester’s Wilko, in St John’s Street, has also been decided although a closing date is yet to be announced.

Saddened shoppers told the Gazette how they were left upset by the closure of both of north Essex’s Wilko shops.

George Sparkes said: “Another nail in the coffin for Clacton. Like Colchester, [the High Street] is slowly dying. I feel so sorry for the staff. They are so lovely and polite.”

Clacton shopper Newley Adalene added: “Good luck to the Clacton staff [who are] hanging in limbo.

"They are so loyal staying until the end. Wishing you all the best in your next chapter."