Homebase 'set to close around 60 stores' with more than 1,000 jobs at risk

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Aug 2018

The new owners of Homebase are set to reveal plans next week to close around 60 stores, according to reports.

The move by the owners of the DIY chain, which has stores in Hessle and Scunthorpe, could lead to more than 1,000 jobs being lost across the country.

The news comes a month after Homebase said it was cutting more than 300 jobs at its support centre in Milton Keynes, after the firm was sold by its Australian owner, Wesfarmers, to retail restructuring firm Hilco Capital for a nominal sum in May.

According to Sky News, Hilco is expected to outline proposals early next week for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which could lead to the closure of around 60 of Homebase's 249 stores.

Hull's Homebase under threat as DIY firm announces closes stores

A list of the stores which could be affected has not been released and Homebase declined to comment.

Wesfarmers is known for its Bunnings chain in Australia and the compamy and tried to import the brand to the UK by converting various Homebase stores into the Bunnings format.

But according to the Mirror, it said the job cuts in Milton Keynes were related to the withdrawal of the Bunnings brand from the UK and the support centre would only now need staff to serve the Homebase brand.

When the cuts were announced, chief executive Damian McGloughlin said: "We have not taken this decision lightly, but decisive action is required to start rebuilding Homebase's position in the UK market.

"We will be providing as much support as we can to help those affected through this difficult time."

The Homebase store on the Lakeside Retail Park in Scunthorpe

Homebase has 250 UK stores and employs around 12,000 people.

Richard Lim, of Retail Economics, told the Mirror: "The acquisition of Homebase has been an unbelievable disaster for Wesfarmers.

"Their attempts to disrupt the UK DIY market have failed after a series of woeful management decisions, clumsy execution and a misguided perception of the UK market.

"There's no doubt that the timing has been ill-fated as the sector faces incredibly tough headwinds.

"Against this backdrop, the business is bleeding cash and the owners have decided enough is enough. Unfortunately, the restructuring will almost inevitably lead to store closures and more job losses on the high street."

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