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Canterbury: Homebase in Wincheap to close

Struggling DIY chain Homebase is poised to close a Kent store if restructure plans are approved.

The company revealed its Canterbury store is among 42 earmarked for closure as the firm tries to balance the books following a calamitous takeover by Bunning's.

Homebase’s sales performance and profitability declined significantly after they were bought out by the Australian firm two years ago.

Homebase on the Wincheap Industrial Estate, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey
Homebase on the Wincheap Industrial Estate, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey

The firm reverted back to Homebase in June but the company has faced an challenging trading environment amid weak consumer confidence and reduced customer spending.

Soaring rental costs have also been attributed to their financial woes.

Homebase will now enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and is seeking approval from creditors on a proposed plan to reduce costs.

CVAs are a controversial insolvency measure which enable companies to cut store numbers and reduce rents with landlords.

It is anticipated that 42 stores will close from the latter part of this year and early into 2019, meaning reduction of up to 1,500 roles.

Staff will redeployed within the business where possible.

The creditors will vote on the CVA on August 31.

Homebase chief executive Damian McGloughlin said the decision has not been easy.

He 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 under-performance of the business and deal with the burden of our cost base, as well as to protect thousands of jobs.”

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