Belfast Telegraph

32 jobs saved as Homebase reverses plan to close store

By Rachel Martin

More than 30 jobs have been saved in Omagh after Homebase's new owners told staff they would not close the town's branch of the DIY chain.

Homebase was bought over in January by the Australian hardware firm Bunnings in a deal worth £340m.

Just one month before the sale completed, previous owner the Home Retail Group said it planned to close several under-performing branches - including the chain's store in Omagh, which currently employs 32 people.

Peter Davis, Homebase managing director, said: "Since we bought Homebase earlier this year, we have been working hard to stop as many store closures as possible and provide certainty to our team and customers.

"We are really happy to confirm that 32 jobs have been saved by reversing the decision."

Bunnings had already reversed proposals to shut seven of 23 stores earmarked for closure at the time of the sale, saving 200 jobs.

The firm hopes to prevent the closure of 11 more, saving another 500 jobs, while five have already closed with the loss of about 200 jobs.

Bunnings said the company will re-brand all 265 Homebase stores, including nine in Northern Ireland. The project will cost around £500m and take more than two years to complete.

The first Homebase store to make the change will open in south-east London next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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