Homebase confirms Hampshire store will close by early 2019

Homebase will close 42 stores by early 2019. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Homebase will close 42 stores by early 2019. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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Homebase has been given the green light to press ahead with a wave of store closures including one in Hedge End. 

The DIY retailer will shut 42 outlets nationwide putting around 1,500 jobs at risk. 

The retailer is closing the stores via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops.

More than 95 per cent of landlords to the struggling chain voted to approve the proposal at a meeting on Friday, staving off the immediate threat of administration.

Read More: Homebase drafts in help amid doubts over its future

Homebase boss Damian McGloughlin said: ‘We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of our creditors, including such a proportion of landlords, have supported the plans laid out in the CVA.

‘We now have the platform to turn the business around and return to profitability. This has been a difficult time for many of our team members and I am very grateful for their continued support and hard work.

‘We can look to the future with great confidence, and we will be working closely with our suppliers to capitalise on the opportunities we see in the home improvement market in the UK and Ireland.’

The firm said it would try to redeploy affected staff.

The Homebase store in Hedge End is among the 42 that will close across the country. 

The latest restructuring comes on top of a store closure programme the retailer has been carrying out since February.

Read More: Full list of 42 Homebase stores closing

A total of 16 Homebase stores have been shut this year and the business has also axed 303 jobs at its head office in Milton Keynes.

The latest wave of store closures will take place during late 2018 and early 2019.

Restructuring experts at Alvarez & Marsal will carry out the CVA.

Earlier this year, Homebase changed hands when it was sold by its former Australian owner Wesfarmers to Hilco, a retail turnaround specialist, for £1.

Homebase was bought by Wesfarmers for £340 million in 2016.

Wesfarmers is known for its Bunnings chain in Australia, and attempted to import the home improvement brand to the UK by converting a host of Homebase stores into the Bunnings format.

However, the strategy ended in disaster.

Prior to the Hilco takeover, Homebase had 250 stores at its peak and 12,000 staff.

CVAs have been adopted by a host of retailers including New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare, despite the property industry has expressing disdain for the procedure, arguing it leaves them out-of-pocket.