THE shutters are down and all you can see poking out the gloom are the ends of empty shelves.

Barry’s Wilkos on Holton Road has shut for good, with the last day’s trading said to have been Sunday, September 24.

The Wilkos story is a heartbreaking saga that began at the beginning of August when it was revealed the high street chain was going into administration.

Just over six weeks later, more than 400 shops and 12,000 jobs have gone after the business collapsed.

Barry And District News: The shutters are down on Barry's WilkosThe shutters are down on Barry's Wilkos (Image: Newsquest)

In Barry, all that is left of Wilkos is an empty shell and haunting aisles that stick out in the shadows.

Oscar’s Barbers said it was sad to see it go and Holton Road has been quieter since the closure.

While their business hasn’t been affected, the barbers – who saw the day-to-day goings on of Barry’s Wilkos being right opposite it – said some of the reasons for the closure included lack of parking and the store was such a big space to manage.

Barry And District News: Empty aisles poke out the gloomEmpty aisles poke out the gloom (Image: Newsquest)

Barry And District News: Some of the reasons for the closure was thought to be lack of parkingSome of the reasons for the closure was thought to be lack of parking (Image: Newsquest)

Despite the challenges the chain was facing, the Barry community rallied to support the staff affected.

Local business owner Stuart Burnell handed out CVs for staff who were facing losing their jobs.

Watching on at the time, Mr Burnell, who runs Awesome Wales just down the way from Wilkos, said: “There are 23 people who are going to lose their jobs.

”I feel sorry for them. I went in there and spoke to them to try and help as much as I can.

"I took CVs off them to pass them on to people up here to see if they got jobs.”

Watch the video below of the gloomy empty aisles of Wilkos Barry

As the dust settles on a calamitous collapse of one of Britain’s few treasured high street stores, anger is still palpable.

A heartbroken Wilko employee said "screw you" to former head Lisa Wilkinson in an angry rant on behalf of her staff.

In a since-deleted TikTok post that went viral, the employee said: "I'm stood here, in my store, absolutely heartbroken. I've got 15 team members down the front there who have given their lives to Wilko(s).

"Lisa, I'm so angry with you. To tell me you've done everything. You did nothing compared to the team members that have worked in this business for decades and given their hearts and souls.”

  • Watch the employee's angry rant at Wilkos bosses, here.

Barry And District News: The store leaves a big hole on Holton RoadThe store leaves a big hole on Holton Road (Image: Newsquest)

Barry And District News: Memories of Wilkos will no longer be madeMemories of Wilkos will no longer be made (Image: Newsquest)

Lisa Wilkinson, the granddaughter of Wilko's founder, defended the retailer's multi-million dividend payouts in the run-up to its collapse – paying £77million to former shareholders.

She told the Sunday Times: "The board checked, there was sufficient cash, we went through the right governance, the auditors checked it off. Is there a bit of me lying awake at night saying I wish we'd never taken a penny of dividends out?

“It might have made us survive a couple of months longer. What we have taken out really wouldn't have made a difference."

At the end of the day, what really matters is the memories and stories of Wilkos which have ceased, such as 98-year-old Gladys who said she “sobbed her socks off” when she thought about Wilkos closing.

A regular of a Wilkos in Clifton, Gladys used to go there, eat her sandwiches and get some company.

What are your memories of Wilkos in Barry? Will you miss it? Do you have a message to the staff? What do you want to see there in its place? Let us know in comments, on our Facebook page, or email