WILKO staff have made a heartfelt request to "insensitive" shoppers ahead of store closures.
It comes after the GMB union claimed that the majority of Wilko shops will close next week.
PwC, the administrators now in control of the company, confirmed there will likely be closures and job losses – but denied that stores will shut as early as next week.
Fears that all 12,500 jobs at the troubled discount chain could be at risk have been growing since it collapsed earlier this month.
Workers have now taken to social media urging shoppers to be considerate following the news.
One said: "Anyone who's ever visited our store know that all the staff are amazing; they are family to each other and as such, are all suffering with the constant speculation, mis-truths and just in general.
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"So, with this in mind, please be mindful of what you say to us – we are human.
"We do not need to hear the words 'when are you closing?', or 'I know you're closing', or any other insensitive remark that none of us want to hear."
The poster added that the staff at their store are scared of losing their jobs, livelihoods, bill money, mortgage payments and school uniform money.
They added: "So, why the hell do you feel the need to make us suffer? Please try to think before you speak.
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Another Wilko worker who has worked at the company for 10 years said they are feeling "a lot of emotions" after hearing the news from GMB.
They wrote: "A lot of emotions this morning.
"At least now we all know where we stand. Dreading going into work this morning. My heart goes out to all my fellow Wilko family."
A third staff member said: "It’s like the staff don’t matter. Well we do matter and every one of us is hurting.
"So, if you visit any Wilko store for your bargains please be kind to the staff – none of this is our fault."
Further shoppers have been sharing messages of support to workers, urging people to be kind.
Several rival chains have told staff at the struggling company that jobs are available to them.
Discount supermarket Aldi has asked that any workers affected by the collapse of Wilko to get in touch about jobs.
Earlier this month rival chains Home Bargains and Dunelm also offered devastated staff new roles after the retailer collapsed.
Discount stationery shop The Works said it would "guarantee an interview if there's a role available" for all Wilko staff.
Wilko shops will continue to trade as normal but the chain has stopped processing online orders.
It also launched a fresh "everything must go sale" last week with up to 50% off various ranges.
Wilko’s administrators are racing to secure a rescue deal for the chain but did warn some store closures and redundancies are likely.
Insiders said that Poundland’s owner, Pepco, and discounter B&M Bargains remained in the running to buy as many as 150 shops.
While rival chain The Range is also still in the auction process, according to sources.
It's not yet known if any of the potential bidders, of which there are thought to be several, will retain the Wilko name but it could still be a possibility.
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To keep up to date with the latest on Wilko follow our live blog.
Plus, here we list all of the 400 Wilko stores at risk of closing.
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