NEWS
31/08/2018 14:07 BST | Updated 31/08/2018 15:06 BST

Around 1,500 Jobs At Risk As Homebase Gets Approval To Close Stores

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PA Wire/PA Images

Homebase has secured approval from creditors to close 42 stores, putting around 1,500 jobs at risk.

The retailer is closing the stores via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops.

More than 95% of landlords to the struggling chain voted to approve the proposal at a meeting on Friday, staving off the immediate threat of administration.

Homebase boss Damian McGloughlin said: “We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of our creditors, including such a proportion of landlords, have supported the plans laid out in the CVA.

“We now have the platform to turn the business around and return to profitability. This has been a difficult time for many of our team members and I am very grateful for their continued support and hard work.

“We can look to the future with great confidence, and we will be working closely with our suppliers to capitalise on the opportunities we see in the home improvement market in the UK and Ireland.”

The stores closing are:

1.     Aberdeen Bridge of Don

2.     Aberdeen Portlethen

3.     Aylesbury

4.     Bedford St Johns

5.     Bradford

6.     Brentford

7.     Bristol

8.     Canterbury

9.     Cardiff Newport Road

10.  Croydon Purley Way

11.  Droitwich

12.  Dublin Fonthill

13.  Dublin Naas Road

14.  Dundee

15.  East Kilbride

16.  Exeter

17.  Gateshead

18.  Grantham

19.  Greenock

20.  Hawick

21.  Inverness

22.  Ipswich

23.  Limerick

24.  London Merton

25.  London New Southgate

26.  London Wimbledon

27.  Macclesfield

28.  Oxford Botley Road

29.  Peterborough

30.  Pollokshaws

31.  Poole Tower Park

32.  Robroyston

33.  Salisbury

34.  Seven Kings

35.  Solihull

36.  Southampton Hedge End

37.  Southend

38.  Stirling

39.  Swindon Drakes Way

40.  Swindon Orbital

41.  Warrington

42.  Whitby

The latest restructuring comes on top of a store closure programme the retailer has been carrying out since February.

A total of 16 Homebase stores have been shut this year and the business has also axed 303 jobs at its head office in Milton Keynes.

The latest wave of store closures will take place during late 2018 and early 2019.

Restructuring experts at Alvarez & Marsal will carry out the CVA.

Earlier this year, Homebase changed hands when it was sold by its former Australian owner Wesfarmers to Hilco, a retail turnaround specialist, for £1.

Homebase was bought by Wesfarmers for £340 million in 2016.

Wesfarmers is known for its Bunnings chain in Australia, and attempted to import the home improvement brand to the UK by converting a host of Homebase stores into the Bunnings format.

However, the strategy ended in disaster.

Prior to the Hilco takeover, Homebase had 250 stores at its peak and 12,000 staff.

CVAs have been adopted by a host of retailers including New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare, despite the property industry has expressing disdain for the procedure, arguing it leaves them out-of-pocket.