Home Retail Group restructures to cut costs

Home Retail Group, the owner of Homebase and Argos, is set to restructure its store portfolio following the collapse of rival furnishing chain MFI in November last year. The company says it is “under pressure” to cut costs and staff as the home furnishing segment continues to suffer in tough economic conditions.

Companies such as Woolworths, Land of Leather and MFI within the segment collapsed recently.

Over the Christmas period, the group’s Homebase brand posted a 10.2% fall in sales on a like-for-like basis. Meanwhile, sales at its catalogue-based brand Argos fell by 7.5% spiked by countdown discount sale in Woolies in the run up to Christmas.

It has approached a restructuring specialist to review its existing DIY store portfolio. But a specialist is yet to be appointed and the company spokeswoman declined to comment.

Furnishings chain MFI fell into administration because of the economic downturn risking about 1200 jobs in November 2008.

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