Sales at Homebase plunged 15 per cent as the fallout from its disastrous takeover by Australian firm Wesfarmers rumbled on.
Wesfarmers said heavy snow in March ‘significantly affected’ sales as consumers were put off spending money on gardening tools and furniture.
Like-for-like store sales at the home improvement chain plunged 15 per cent in the first three months of 2018 as total revenues fell to £211million.
DIY disaster: Like-for-like store sales at Homebase plunged 15 per cent in the first three months of 2018 as total revenues fell to £211m
The company showed no sign of changing its plan to transform Homebase into its Bunnings brand, which is Wesfarmers’ Australian DIY store brand.
Michael Schneider, managing director of Bunnings Group, said it had been improving stores and ensuring the correct stock was available.
‘Refinement of the Bunnings format is ongoing with recent conversions reflecting updated range plans,’ he said.
There are now 23 Bunnings stores and 227 Homebase shops in the UK, employing almost 12,000 people.
Wesfarmers has admitted mistakes in its botched takeover of Homebase which it bought for £340million in 2016, its first foray into the UK DIY market.
Customers were frustrated when Wesfarmers removed popular ranges from stores and introduced ill-judged products more suitable to Australia.
It is now proposing to close up to 40 stores as part of a company overhaul, threatening 2,000 jobs, and it is also considering the sale of Homebase.
The group is said to be offering incentives of up to £100million for buyers willing to take on the troubled firm.