Homebase store closures put up to 2,000 jobs at risk

More store closures are on the cards at Homebase (Steve Parsons/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Homebase plans to go ahead with more store closures which could see up to 80 DIY outlets shut - putting 1,500 to 2,000 jobs at risk.

The DIY chain is next week expected to announce it will file for a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing stores.

It was first reported in June that Homebase was exploring further store closures through the procedure.

A total of 17 Homebase stores have been shut this year and the business has also axed 303 jobs at its head office. Credit: PA

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

Homebase would have to secure the support of landlords to carry out a CVA.

But the property industry has expressed consternation at the procedure, which has been adopted by the likes of House of Fraser, Carpetright and Mothercare, saying it leaves them out-of-pocket.

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

The store closures follow the sale of the business 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 highly successful Bunnings chain in Australia, and attempted to import the home improvement brand to the UK.

However, the fast pace of the transition gave Wesfarmers little time to introduce the Bunnings brand to UK consumers.

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