The Australian owner of Homebase has revealed that it plans to save 18 stores marked for closure, as the shakeup of the business continues.
According to market sources, Australian outfit Wesfarmers, which acquired the Homebase business from Home Retail Group earlier this year for a sum of £340m, has appointed former Asda chairman, Archie Norman to its board as it plans to put an end to store closure previously planned by its former owner.
Homebase is to be reformed under the Bunnings brand, a DIY business part of the Wesfarmers Group, as part of a £500m turn around project that will see investment pumped in over the next three to five years.
Wesfarmers said it was looking to keep open 18 Homebase stores, which may save between 500 and 700 jobs, that was previously part of a reduction plan by Home Retail where it intended to close a quarter of the 323 Homebase stores.
Wesfarmers also indicated that it hoped to keep 260 shops open, with all of them to be converted under the Bunnings brand.
A spokesman for Wesfarmers told media: “New management have successfully reversed the closure of seven Homebase stores, saving approximately 200 jobs. It hopes to prevent the closure of 11 more, saving up to 500 jobs.”
Amid the ongoing restructure, Wesfarmers revealed that it plans to make products cheaper, and also intends to streamline its offering by cutting categories that do not fit the Bunnings offer, while confirming that it plans to end the retailer’s seven-year Nector partnership by the end of the year, affecting 19 million UK cardholders.