BATHSTORE has been saved by Homebase as the DIY chain agrees to buy 44 stores – but hundreds of jobs are still at risk.
The struggling bathroom retailer went into administration at the end of last month – at a time when it employed 531 people and had 135 stores.
Since then, some 159 redundancies have been made at Bathstore.
Today’s move by Homebase will save around 150 jobs on the shopfloor and another 25 at head office.
Yet the future of another 200 jobs at those stores not included in the deal has been thrown into doubt, with the remaining 91 stores set to close once display stock has been sold off.
Bathstore’s struggles have been blamed on several months of difficult trading, as well as the failure of talks to find a buyer.
Homebase said it will also roll out a number of Bathstore concessions into its stores over the coming 18 months.
Chief executive Damian McGloughlin said the acquisition “complements Homebase’s reinvigorated range” and said the business had been working to reintroduce popular ranges.
“As a result of the hard work of the Homebase team, our turnaround is ahead of plan,” he said.
“While we still have a significant amount of work to do, the customer response to our new ranges has been very encouraging and we are on track to break even this year against a loss of over £100million last year.”
More to follow…
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