Homebase for sale again

For the second time within four years, Homebase is up for sale with potential buyers already sounded out on a potential deal.

Homebase store front

Once a cornerstone of British home improvement, the DIY and garden retailer, Homebase finds itself on the market yet again. Hilco Capital purchased the chain in 2018 for £1 from former owners, the Australian Wesfarmers Limited – which purchased the business 18 months earlier for £340m. The conglomerate Wesfarmers, headquartered in Perth, underestimated the competition from fellow market brands such as B&Q and failed to make the business a success. When Hilco Capital stepped in to salvage Homebase, the DIY chain was grappling with the repercussions of a disastrous strategy overhaul by the former owners.

In terms of the sale, a number of parties have reportedly held talks with the restructuring giant about purchasing the garden chain, including the discount giants The Range and B&M Bargains.

The Times has reported that there was speculation surrounding the Homebase brand and 170 stores which could be split up, and sold off under new ownership. Such a purchasing strategy allow the buyer(s) to cherry-pick the company’s best assets, leaving behind liabilities which raises concerns about the future of Homebase’s workforce and extensive network.

We await to see how the sale of the DIY giant will affect the retail landscape and if purchased The Range or B&M, how the discount giants will redefine the competitive boundaries within the home improvement and garden retail sectors.