Up to 700 jobs could be secured at Homebase after the retailer’s new owner said it would abandon its store closure plans.
New owner of the DIY chain, Wesfarmers said the 18 Homebase stores that it had previously planned to close will remain as they are; saving 500 to 700 jobs.
The Australian owner has been attempting to put a stop to the store-closure plan enforced by previous management since it acquired the chain for £340m from Home Retail Group in February.
Wesfarmers, which also owns home improvements retailer Bunning has revealed that it plans to rebrand the Homebase estate under the Bunnings fascia.
A spokesman said: “New management have successfully reversed the closure of seven Homebase stores, saving approximately 200 jobs.
“It hopes to prevent the closure of 11 more, saving up to 500 jobs.
“Unfortunately, there have been five unavoidable store closures, with approximately 200 employees affected.
“However, it is worth highlighting that any employees affected are given priority for job opportunities at other stores within a 30-mile radius.”
The group recently appointed retail veteran and former Asda Chairman Archie Norman to a board advising on Homebase’s turnaround.
Wesfarmers currently has a market value of close to £22bn and is the largest private sector employer in Australia with 210,000.