Rochdale News has reported that the Bunnings store at Sandbrook Park will reopen as Homebase today.
The publication said following a management buy-out earlier this year, all 24 Bunnings pilot stores will convert to the Homebase brand following completion.
Wesfarmers has agreed to divest the Homebase business in the United Kingdom and Ireland to a management buy-out team led by CEO Damian McGloughlin supported and funded by Hilco, the retail turnaround specialist. Whilst the operating performance of the business had improved in recent months, Wesfarmers took the decision to exit the UK following a comprehensive review of the business.
Homebase was acquired by Australian company, Wesfarmers in 2016. The investment has been disappointing for Wesfarmers, with problems arising from poor execution post-acquisition.
Earlier this month Homebase announced the next phase of its restructuring plan, the company is to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and is seeking approval from creditors on a proposed plan to reduce its cost base in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Homebase’s sales performance and profitability declined significantly under the previous ownership over the last two years. In addition, the company has faced an extremely challenging retail trading environment reflecting weak consumer confidence and reduced consumer spending. These factors have had a significant adverse impact on Homebase’s trading position.
After a comprehensive review, Homebase has concluded that its current store portfolio mix is no longer viable. Rental costs associated with stores are unsustainable and many stores are loss making.
The CVA enables Homebase to make essential changes to its store portfolio, reducing its cost base and providing a stable platform on which to continue its turnaround.