Croydon’s branch of Homebase is among 42 stores under threat of closure, as the struggling DIY retailer seeks a survival deal.
Huffington Post provided a list this morning which includes the store located off the Purley Way.
Around 1,500 jobs are at risk nationally as a consequence of the proposed closures, an estimated 30 of them in Croydon.
Homebase carried out a closure programme in February, when 17 stores ceased trading. Homebase currently has 241 stores in the UK. The retailer has also axed 303 jobs at its Milton Keynes head office.
The DIY and garden supplies store was originally founded by Sainsbury’s, but for a decade from 2006 was owned by Home Retail Group, who also operate Argos and Habitat. In 2016, they sold Homebase to Wesfarmers for £340million, but by the beginning of this year they were unloading the business for a token £1 to “retail turnaround specialist” Hilco.
Today, the DIY retailer confirmed that it is seeking to close the stores via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), a procedure used by struggling firms to shut under-performing shops, while some of its suppliers and landlords carry some of the costs through providing relief on debt. Homebase’s creditors and landlords will vote on whether to accept the terms of the CVA on August 31.
Dave Gill of Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, said: “Homebase staff feared the worst when the company was sold for just £1 following the disastrous ownership by Wesfarmers.
“I am seeking urgent clarification from owners Hilco about their long-term plan to turn the company around. All too often, staff are excluded from the CVA process as the future of their jobs are being decided.
“Clearly there is a huge task ahead, it is crucial that the company listens to the staff and invests in their experience and expertise to turn the business around and again make it a success.”
In a statement issued on this morning, Damian McGloughlin, the Homebase CEO, said: “Launching a CVA has been a difficult decision and one that we have not taken lightly.
“Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the underperformance of the business and deal with the burden of our cost base, as well as to protect thousands of jobs.
“The CVA is therefore an essential measure for the business to take and will enable us to refocus our operations and rebuild our offer for the years ahead.”
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It is amazing isn’t it. We have major retailers collapsing, falling real wages and marginal economic growth but employment levels are growing relentlessly. Demonstrates that the employment level now is no longer a factor of economic forces, but of political action. You have to make claims for unemployment benefits on line, the administrative reaction to this claim is arbitrary and inconsistent, if your claim is delayed you are forced to borrow from the state rather than the state making up a back payment and futher you are humiliated by having to go to a food bank while you don’t have any money.
Homebase has been “closing down” for about 2 weeks now. Most of the decent stock has gone.
It isn’t really surprising. The place has been mainly deserted (midweek) for a few years now, certainly compared to the thriving B&Q in valley park. In addition to the extra large B&Q round the corner, they have had screwfix to contend with next door for somewhile too. Not to mention Dunelm on Valley park that provides a better quality in the home products department – or indeed John Lewis down the road for the more upmarket alternatives.
There are more learner drivers in the huge car park of Homebase (and matalan) than there are shoppers.
Very sad for the wonderful staff there though. One lady I spoke to yesterday has worked there for 32 years and won’t survive on the poor redundancy she will receive. She was fairly upbeat though.
But ultimately Homebase just wasn’t as “big” as B&Q or as efficient as screwfix next door.
I went into a Homebase last year, and was amazed to see enormous “Professional style mechanic’s metal tool chests on sale– these were almost the size of a small UK house. Seems the new Aussie owners must think that we all have space for such items in the garage, along with 3 cars.
My wife went in to the same SW Surrey branch this year to buy a bag of soft sand.
Sorry, none in stock, said the shop helper.
When the basics are not stocked, it’s not good news.
Very sad for the staff. Pity that Sainsbury sold it on.