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Shops > News > Homebase to Close One of its Nottingham Stores in December

Homebase to Close One of its Nottingham Stores in December

Posted : 03/12/2018 - Shop

Homebase is set to close its store at Queen’s Drive, Nottingham, at the end of trading on the 14th December 2018.

Although not on the list of 42 stores earmarked for closure by the new owners, the Nottingham Queen’s Drive store was recently added, and it is rumoured the number of closures listed could increase by a further 20 stores.

Homebase Woes

Unlike so many recent household names whose demise has been attributed to failure to take account of increasing online sales, Homebase’s problems appear to stem from a poorly managed takeover of the business in 2016. The business was bought by Bunnings, one of Australia’s biggest DIY chains and a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, for £340-million. As soon as the takeover was completed, the company proceeded to axe all of Homebase’s senior managers, and many of its middle managers. In effect, leaving no-one at the helm with any in-depth knowledge of the UK DIY market.

After years of austerity, and with a slowing down in the UK housing market, Homebase, like many other leisure industries, was already feeling the pinch. Nonetheless, the new owners decided to do things the Australian way. Big is beautiful, and the re-branded Bunnings stores began to fill with high end barbecues and circular saws that could cut down a forest. They also increased the product range by 40%. The result was disastrous, with the business losing over £100-million in the six months up to December 2017.

Another takeover

In an effort to cut its losses, Wesfarmers sold the Homebase brand in early 2018 to Hilco Capital, for the princely sum of £1, but with all its debts. Having already closed 18 branches, this latest list is a further attempt by Hilco, using company CVAs, to further reduce the debt and restructure what remains of the Homebase brand. With job loses already expected to top 2,000, and further closures looking increasingly likely after December 2018, whether any of the Homebase brand remains open by 2020 is open to speculation. At least in the short term, the Nottingham DIY enthusiasts still have a remaining Homebase store they can visit, at Madford Retail Park in Arnold.

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