Homebase has announced it is cutting 303 jobs at its Milton Keynes head office after Bunnings parent Wesfarmers agreed to divest the Homebase business to Hilco Capital for just £1 in May, as it said the “risks associated with a turnaround don’t justify the additional investment and management required”.
Wesfarmers had intended to spend £500m on renovation and conversion of the Homebase stores to the successful Australian Bunnings brand, however the struggling UK market meant Bunnings struggled with footfall and consumer spending against other rivals in the industry. The company was expected to make a loss of nearly £100m in the first half of this year.
The job cuts are reportedly due to the withdrawal of the Bunnings brand from the UK, and in an effort to return the current Bunnings stores back into the Homebase brand, the support centre has been dramatically reduced in size. Homebase has 250 UK stores and employs about 12,000 people.
The chief executive of Homebase, Damian McGloughlin said: “We have not taken this decision lightly but decisive action is required to start rebuilding Homebase’s position in the UK market. We will be providing as much support as we can to help those affected through this difficult time.”