Retail union Usdaw is to meet senior executives from Index on Thursday to discuss the shock closure of the catalogue shopping business.

Usdaw will be demanding to see the company's business case that backs its plans to close or sell every store within the group and find out what other options Index management considered before this decision was taken. Index is part of the Littlewoods group. Usdaw claims thousands of jobs - including several hundred in the West Midlands - will be lost when stores across the UK close their doors.

However, Argos is to buy 33 stores, including one in Birmingham, from Index securing up to 800 jobs.

But other Index stores in Walsall, Coventry, Erdington, Merry Hill, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton face closure. Around 200 staff at the firm's distribution centre in Wednesbury also face an uncertain future.

Usdaw national officer John Gorle said his priority was finding alternative employment within the group for his members.