Sky News has reported that the DIY chain Homebase, which was sold for £1 by previous Australian owners Wesfarmers, will close around a quarter of its 249 stores.
The news comes just one month after the chain was bought by Hilco Capital, where under the terms of the agreement, the buyer – a company associated with Hilco Capital - has acquired all Homebase assets, including the Homebase brand, its store network, freehold property, property leases and inventory for a nominal amount (£1). Restructuring specialist Hilco Capital has been involved in the turnaround of a number of major retail brands in the UK, including HMV, the UK arm of Staples and Habitat.
Just days after the sell, Homebase announced it was cutting over 300 jobs from the Milton Keynes head office, reportedly a consequential action due to the withdrawal of Bunnings from the UK market.
Sky news reported: "The number of stores to be axed was still being finalised on Wednesday, with a range of 50 to 80 shops thought to include 18 which have already been closed in recent months.
"If it is at the top end of that range, the closure programme will represent almost one third of Homebase's estate.
"The precise number of jobs that will be lost was also unclear, with analysts speculating that it was likely to be between 1,000 and 1,500, roughly 10% of Homebase's 11,000-strong workforce.
"The eventual figure could be higher, according to one insider."
More on this story as it develops.