Wilkinson has asked staff at 80 stores to take a voluntary drop in hours.

A spokesman told The Grocer that, like any high street business, Wilkinson was “not immune” to the effects of the recession.

“In spite of the company’s exceptional value offering, determination to open new stores and further enhance the shopping experience through our innovative store in Crawley, some existing Wilkinson stores are not immune,” he said.

“Importantly, the business is trying to achieve flexible ways of resolving such performance issues by asking team members to help find flexible solutions that fit their own needs as well as those of the business.”

The value retailer, which has around 370 stores in total, recently revealed a dramatic slump in pre-tax profits from £60.8m to £22.7m. Sales inched up to £1.565bn after the company added 18 new stores over the course of the year.