Aug 31, 2018

Homebase to close 42 stores after deal with landlords

Creditors of Homebase have approved a plan for the ailing DIY and homewares retailer to shut 42 stores, keeping it solvent but putting about 1,500 jobs at risk. The seller of everything from bathroom taps to garden furniture will close the stores through a "Company voluntary arrangement" with landlords, cutting its rent bill and allowing it to stay afloat. Almost 96 per cent of landlords agreed the deal at a meeting on Friday. Its strategy for Homebase also backfired, including the rebranding of the stores as Bunnings and its scaling back of homewares in favour of power tools and building materials. Sales at British bricks and mortar non-food retailers fell 2.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the three months to July, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. The resounding vote by Homebase's landlords to approve the CVA came after several had complained the proposed deal was too aggressive.

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