Homebase has acquired Bathstore and will take control of 44 stores and open Bathstore concessions in Homebase within the next 18 months.
The sale has secured the jobs of 154 employees at the 44 rescued stores. The remaining 91 stores, said a statement from administrators BDO, will be closed but will continue to trade for a number of weeks until display stock is sold off.
Britain’s largest bathroom retailer went into administration on June 26 following “several months of difficult trading”.
The transaction sees Homebase take control of Bathstore’s website, intellectual property and stock, as well as 44 stores, in a move that will considerably strengthen its bathroom proposition for customers.
Homebase will also open a significant number of Bathstore concessions in its own stores over the next 18 months. The bricks-and-mortar retail offer will be supported by Bathstore’s strong digital business, which will continue to trade independently from the Homebase website.
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.”
Damian McGloughlin, chief executive of Homebase, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Bathstore into the Homebase family. With a reputation for quality service and excellent products, Bathstore complements Homebase’s reinvigorated range.
“Since the launch of our turnaround plan just over 12 months ago, we have been focusing on reintroducing the popular ranges and products that our customers have been crying out for. Through strong cost management and improved shop keeping we are committed to making Homebase the best place to shop for everything you need for your home and garden projects.
“As a result of the hard work of the Homebase team, our turnaround is ahead of plan. While we still have a significant amount of work to do, the customer response to our new ranges has been very encouraging and we are on track to break even this year against a loss of over £100m last year.”
Bathstore previously had a total of 135 stores – one of which kbbreview has been learnt, in Fratton, Portsmouth, was taken over by the original franchisee. The former Bathstore in the Pompey Centre, Fratton Way, will be rebranded as Wash Bathrooms.