- Homebase’s new owner Hilco is taking action to turn around the business
- Homebase’s disastrous takeover by Wesfarmers was abandoned last month
- 303 roles will be axed from the DIY chains’ support centre in Milton Keynes
Homebase is culling a third of its head office staff – 303 roles – as its new owner gets to work on fixing up the ailing DIY chain.
The retailer’s previous custodian, Wesfarmers, bought the Homebase business in 2016 for £340m with the intention of using its 250 stores to launch its Bunnings fascia in the UK.
But its mission failed, and spiralling losses drove the Australian firm to retreat from the UK and hand over Homebase to private equity firm Hilco, which also owns HMV, for a nominal £1.
Last month, Hombase was taken over by Hilco, which is now trying to revive the DIY firm’s fortunes
The retailer said today that the job cuts are ‘necessary’ to ensure Homebase is better prepared ‘to meet the demands of the UK’s challenging retail environment’.
It also said it reflected the urgent strategic changes being implemented.
The centre in Milton Keynes previously supported both the Homebase and Bunnings brands, but since the withdrawal of Bunnings, only needs to serve one.
Homebase chief executive Damian McGloughlin, who was poached from rival B&Q and has been charged with leading the firm’s turnaround said: ‘We have not taken this decision lightly, but decisive action is required to start rebuilding Homebase’s position in the UK market.’
Homebase currently employs 12,000 people.
As part of the Hilco takeover, a total of 24 stores that were trading as Bunnings will convert back to the Homebase fascia.
Wesfarmers attempted to launch its Bunnings brand in the UK but only converted 20 Homebase stores during its ownership