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303 Homebase jobs axed as Bunnings brand disappears from UK

The business said some of the staff at its Milton Keynes support centre will no longer be needed.

Homebase has said it is cutting more than 300 jobs at its support centre in Milton Keynes.

Homebase, which was bought by Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers for £340 million in 2016, is being sold to retail restructuring firm Hilco for £1.

As part of the deal, a total of 24 stores that were trading as Bunnings, the Wesfarmers’ brand, will convert back to the Homebase fascia.

The DIY chain has said the job cuts are related to the withdrawal of the Bunnings brand from the UK.

The support centre will now only need staff to serve the Homebase brand.

Decisive action is required to start rebuilding Homebase’s position in the UK market Chief executive Damian McGlouglin

Chief executive Damian McGloughlin 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.”

Homebase has 250 UK stores and employs around 12,000 people.

Wesfarmers is known for its Bunnings chain in Australia, and attempted to import the home improvement brand to the UK by converting a host of Homebase stores into the Bunnings format.

However, the fast pace of the transition gave Wesfarmers little time to introduce the Bunnings brand, which is highly successful in Australia, to UK consumers.

Wesfarmers also fired Homebase’s senior management team, alongside more than 150 middle-managers, soon after its doomed acquisition of the retailer.

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