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Amazon ‘aggressive bidders’ for empty Homebase stores

Retail giant Amazon is looking to purchase empty Homebase stores from new owner Hilco in order to help increase its delivery capabilities.

According to the Telegraph the online retailer is seeking to purchase the stores due to a shortage of warehouse stock in the UK, forcing retailers to look for alternative properties to house their goods.

The DIY retailer is closing 42 out of its 241 stores, resulting in around 1,500 redundancies. The company was purchased by Hilco after previous owner Wesfarmers, which originally bought the business for £340m, ditched its “disastrous” plan to convert the Homebase stores into UK branches of Bunnings.

As many as 300 roles at Homebase’s head office in Milton Keynes and its horticultural buying office in Swindon have been already been axed. Since Hilco’s takeover, a number of stores baring the Bunnings name have been converted back to Homebase.

Damian McGloughlin, CEO of Homebase, said: “Launching a CVA has been a difficult decision and one that we have not taken lightly. Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the underperformance of the business and deal with the burden of our cost base, as well as to protect thousands of jobs.”

Amazon declined to comment further.

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