Homebase to close Worle store and downsize Gateshead branch
Published: 20 September 2019 - Fiona Garcia
As the home improvement retailer continues to consult with landlords following its CVA, it has been revealed that its Queensway store in Worle will close before Christmas and its Gateshead branch will be split into two retail units.
Homebase, in Queensway, will shut its doors on December 20, with The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society, freehold owner of part of the site, having applied for permission to split the 5,060sq m unit into separate retail spaces. There are also plans to build a new service road allowing customers to exit only onto Queensway, replacing the existing entrance.
It is the latest on a list of closures, as Homebase CEO Damian McGloughlin told DIY Week last month that the retailer was currently negotiating rent terms with landlords of what the business describes as its “amber stores”.
He said: “We’ve had to walk away from some because we couldn’t negotiate a rent that worked for us but there have also been others we have had successful negotiations with and where we are staying.”
The closure of 42 stores were announced when Homebase’s CVA was passed last August. The total number of branches that are set to shut or have already ceased trading now stands at 70.
Mr McGloughlin explained: “I thought the final number we would be left with would be around 180 but it may be that it dips to 175. It’s about where I thought it would be, to be honest.”
Meanwhile, a Homebase outlet in Gateshead that was previously earmarked for closure in the initial list of 42 stores, is set to remain open, with Homebase applying for planning permission from Gateshead Council to half the footprint of the branch.
The home improvement and garden chain has proposed plans to divide the current store on Team Valley Retail World into two units, resulting in a smaller shop that will continue trading.
The planning proposal has been submitted by Savills Estate Agents and states: “The changes will facilitate the subdivision of the unit to enable the existing occupier, Homebase, to downsize and a new tenant to occupy the other new unit. It will improve the functionality of the units in-line with tenant requirements, and are therefore considered to be positive improvements.”
Under the plans, Homebase will retain its on-site garden centre but a new warehouse will be built towards the rear of the unit and changes to Team Valley Retail World’s car park, including a new pedestrian crossing, will also be made to accommodate the new retailer.