Shoppers and staff have spoken of their sadness at the impending closure of a high street staple.

Customers in the almost empty Wilko in Worthing’s Guildbourne Centre said the store “will be missed” when it closes permanently tomorrow.

The Worthing branch is one of the last in the county to close and is shutting its doors for good on the same day as The Beacon, Eastbourne, and the Burgess Hill branches.

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

Photographs from earlier this week show the almost bare shelves of the shop.

Sue, from Worthing, said: “It’s a real shame. You can pop in here and get all sorts of bits that you need.

“We’re losing another shop. If Marks and Spencer go then we might as well give up on town altogether.

“This has been a real handy store and it will be missed.”

The Argus: The shop is almost emptyThe shop is almost empty (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Fran said: “It’s just so sad. Not just for the company and staff but also for us customers who have patronised it all these years.”

Honey said: “It’s so sad because the things are so easy to get. Everything is in one place.”

Staff said they are disappointed with how the closure has been handled by Wilko.

Char Chipper, who has worked for the company for five years, said she felt staff have been “disregarded”.

“They might have taken our jobs but they won’t take my joy,” she said.

“There’s nothing much that can be said,” said assistant manager Lorna Reilly.

“We are where we are and we can’t change it.”

They thanked customers for their years of support and for the messages left on the shop’s kindness board.

The Argus: Customers have left messages on a kindness board in the storeCustomers have left messages on a kindness board in the store (Image: The Argus)

“We’re really grateful to our customers who have been absolutely amazing,” said Char.

“If we could have stayed open on their love and support we would never close.”

Horsham will be the last branch standing in Sussex and will close on October 8.

So far stores in Crawley, Bognor, and Sovereign Harbour Retail Park in Eastbourne have already closed.

The Wilko brand will not disappear entirely from the high street after The Range agreed to buy its brand, website and intellectual property, with plans to sell the acquired brand in its stores.