Homebase job fears
Homebase staff in Dumfries have been left fearing for their jobs after the DIY giants announced store closures.
Australian owners Westfarmers revealed up to 40 outlets could be axed in the UK following poor sales.
And projected figures for this year look grim with the firm expecting to lose £97m in the first half of 2018.
Westfarmers paid £340m for the DIY chain in early 2016 and were rebranding the stores under the Bunnings name.
But after a“disappointing” performance the Australian firm has put Homebase under review and expect to ditch 2,000 jobs in Britain.
There are 35 employees at the Dumfries store and Westfarmers are expected to complete their review in June.
However, a spokesperson for the business said:“It’s too early to comment on which stores might be affected and our team will always be the first to know of any updates.”
Wesfarmers said it had written down the value of the Homebase chain by £454m as a result of poor trading.
And managing director Rob Scott said:“The Homebase acquisition has been below our expectations, which is obviously disappointing.“
However, the firm was encouraged by the performance of stores which had begun trading under the Bunnings name.
Meanwhile, shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw urged Homebase to start talks with them immediately to ensure workers are properly represented.
National officer David Gill said:“Staff in Homebase stores are extremely concerned that Wesfarmers, the parent company of Homebase owners Bunnings UK, are reviewing the business after acquiring it barely two years ago.
“I have written to the company seeking clarification about their intentions and calling for them to involve Usdaw in the review to ensure the staff have a voice in their future.
“Usdaw is the trade union for Homebase staff and now more than ever they need the representation and support we can provide.
“It is crucial that the company listens to the staff to make a success of the business.”