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

Homebase jobs that are axed could be more than 1000

The new owners of Homebase will reveal plans to close up to 60 stores next week, putting up to 1,500 jobs at risk.

The loss-making DIY chain, which was bought by restructuring experts Hilco in a deal agreed in May, is set to file a company voluntary arrangement, a form of insolvency that enables a retailer to exit or alter deals with landlords.

Wesfarmers had presided over one of the most disastrous corporate takeovers in recent retail history, buying Homebase for £340m in 2016 and rebranding many of its shops to Bunnings Warehouse before admitting it was out of its depth and disposing of the chain for a nominal fee two years later.

According to Sky News, Alvarex & Marsal will launch the CVA proposal early next week. Our reporter Jessica Savage is outside a Homebase in North London.

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It is understood the number of stores facing the axe has not yet been finalised.

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.

Homebase declined to comment, while A&M and Hilco could not be reached. Job losses could be between 1,000 and 1,500.

New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare are among the companies to have adopted CVAs this year as the high street struggles with subdued consumer spending, rising labour costs, higher business property taxes and growing online competition. The result has been thousands of jobs lost on the high street.

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