Homebase jobs at risk as 60 stores face closure

Homebase plan to 'CLOSE 60 stores putting 1,000 jobs at risk' | Daily Star

Homebase closing down 60 stores threatening more than 1,000 jobs

The new owner of Homebase will unveil plans to close about a quarter of its stores next week, threatening more than 1,000 jobs.

Wesfarmers bought Homebase in 2016 and set about redeveloping Homebase stores under its Bunnings brand.

According to Sky News, Alvarex & Marsal will launch the CVA proposal early next week.

Homebase is reported to have around 250 stores across Britain and around a dozen in Ireland. The chain has branches locally in Wolverhampton, Cannock, Telford, Market Drayton, Wrexham and Kidderminster, and employs around 12,000 people across the UK.

Hilco, which rescued HMV five years ago, is thought to have been working on plans to turnaround the financial fortunes of Homebase since buying it for just £1 from Wesfarmers, which paid £340m for the chain two years ago.

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Sales in the three months to the end of March fell 13.5% to £211m, according to figures published last month that Wesfarmers blamed partly on the "Beast from the East" weather front which brought inclement conditions to the United Kingdom for an extended period earlier this year.

Hilco and Homebase both declined to comment.

CVAs, which allow firms to avoid insolvency or administration, have been adopted by retailers including fashion chain New Look, floor coverings group Carpetright and mother-and-baby goods firm Mothercare.

The final number of shops to be closed will include 18 which have already shut in recent months, Sky News reports, while analysts have speculated that between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs would be put at risk by the announcement.

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