Homebase, the UK-based DIY chain, has announced that it is reducing the number of jobs at its store support centre in Milton Keynes, England, by almost 40 per cent, making 303 employees redundant by November 2018. The chief executive of Homebase said: “We have not taken this decision lightly but decisive action is required to start rebuilding Homebase’s position in the UK market. We will be providing as much support as we can to help those affected through this difficult time.”
The company was sold to Hilco, the retail restructuring firm in May, and it is expected that store closures and further job reductions will follow the current cuts.
Homebase has announced that it will close 42 of its 241 stores over the next 16 months, making 1,500 employees redundant. The company’s chief executive said the restructuring had been a difficult decision but it would "protect thousands of jobs."
A representative of the trade union Usdaw, said it was “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".
A source specialising in DIY retail news reported that 7 Homebase stores had closed before the announcement was made without any formal press release. Information was available from suppliers or by the 'store closing' signs that appear outside the store.
The total number of announced redundancies now stands at 1,800.