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HUNDREDS of jobs could be at risk after a DIY chain announced it will be shutting a quarter of its stores.

Homebase, which is owned by Home Retail Group, said it will close the stores over the next three years after it saw its profits fall by five per cent year-on-year.

Seven stores have already closed with another 27 expected to close this financial year, and 50 more in three years.

Home Retail Group, which also owns Argos, employs 17,000 in 323 stores.

There are eight stores across Hampshire, including Ocean Park, Copnor; Collingwood Retail Park, Fareham and Fitzherbert Road, Farlington, although it is not certain which stores will be affected.

Chief executive John Walden said there were inconsistent store standards at Homebase and it would seek to transfer employees to other stores, although there would be job losses.

Homebase has not kept up with Argos’s success, which saw strong sales of gaming devices, televisions and white-goods. Home Retail shares fell 2.7 per cent to 171p.