Homebase steps in to save national chain with stores across Sussex

The Horsham branch announced it was to close earlier this month
The Horsham branch announced it was to close earlier this month

The future of a national chain with stores across Sussex has been secured after it was bought by Homebase.

The home improvement retailer snapped up 44 stores from struggling bathroom firm Bathstore.

The move has secured the jobs of 154 employees at the stores, according to BDO LLP business restructuring partners Ryan Grant and Tony Nygate.

Among the saved stores are branches in Crawley and Haywards Heath.

The future of the firm’s stores in Bognor Regis, Brighton, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, and Worthing is not yet known.

The Horsham branch of Bathstore put up notices earlier this month informing customers it would be closing.

Ryan Grant, BDO business restructuring partner, said: “In a difficult situation, we have been able to secure the future of the Bathstore brand and the transfer of 44 stores to Homebase to maximise realisations for creditors and protect as many jobs as possible.”

Under the agreement, Homebase has taken over 44 stores, intellectual property and all remaining stock.

Bathstore, which has 135 stores in the UK and employs more than 500 people, entered administration last month.

The appointment was made ‘after several months’ of difficult trading, Ryan Grant said at the time.

He added: “Despite significant investment into the business over the past five years, Bathstore has struggled to overcome the well-documented challenges facing the UK retail sector.”

The remaining stores that are not being transferred to Homebase will continue to trade for a number of weeks while remaining display stock is sold off, the administrators added.

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