Homebase snaps up collapsed retailer Bathstore – but a total of 91 outlets will close down
- Bathstore, a privately owned chain with 135 UK stores, went bust on 26 June
- Today Homebase confirmed it will take control of 44 Bathstore shops
- But the other 91 stores either have closed or will close
- Homebase to open a ‘significant number’ of Bathstore concessions in its own stores
DIY retailer Homebase has snapped up Bathstore, the bathroom specialist that collapsed into administration last month, but some stores are still set to face the axe.
Bathstore, a privately owned chain with 135 stores in the UK, went bust on 26 June, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs. Administrators at BDO have been looking for a buyer for the company since.
Today Homebase confirmed it will take control of 44 Bathstore shops, safeguarding around 150 jobs on the shopfloor and another 25 at head office.
However, the remaining stores are set to close down. Administrators at BDO said they will stay only stay open ‘for a number of weeks’ until stock is sold off.
Deal: Homebase has bought 44 Bathstore shops
It is understood that some 36 of the remaining 91 stores have already closed down, but once all the other stores will be closed, roughly some 200 more jobs will be lost. So far, some 159 people have been made redundant.
Ryan Grant, BDO business restructuring partner, said: ‘In a difficult situation, we have been able to secure the future of the Bathstore brand and the transfer of 44 stores to Homebase to maximise realisations for creditors and protect as many jobs as possible.’
Homebase said it will also open a ‘significant number’ of Bathstore concessions in its own stores over the next year and half and operate the retailer’s website.
‘We are absolutely delighted to welcome Bathstore into the Homebase family,’ said Homebase chief executive Damian McGloughlin. He added that Bathstore ‘complements Homebase’s reinvigorated range’.
The acquisition marks another step forward in Homebase’s turnaround plan which was initiated last year after it was bought out by private equity firm Hilco for £1.
Homebase said it will open a ‘significant number’ of Bathstore concessions in its own stores
Homebase – which was left on the brink of collapse by the previous short-lived takeover by Australian DIY giant Bunnings – has been restructuring the business, closing down 47 stores, slashing rents on the other stores and cutting jobs.
McGloughlin said the turnaround plan was ‘ahead of plan’ and that the group was on track to break even this year against a loss of £100million last year.
‘Since the launch of our turnaround plan just over 12 months ago, we have been focusing on reintroducing the popular ranges and products that our customers have been crying out for,’ he added.