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Accrington Homebase to close in February

Homebase Accrington

ANOTHER ‘crippling blow’ was dealt to Accrington’s retail offering after Homebase announced it would also be quitting the town.

The home improvement giant will close the shutters on its Hyndburn Road store, close to Asda, on February 21.

The company’s official announcement came just days after Marks & Spencer said it was closing its high street store after 53 years in the town because nearby Rawtenstall offered a ‘better customer experience’.

A Homebase spokesman said: “Following a consultation with colleagues, Homebase can confirm that its store in Accrington will close on February 21.

“Discussions are being held with colleagues to find alternative employment in neighbouring Homebase and Argos stores. We remain committed to serving the local community, with customers able to visit our neighbouring Homebase store in Clitheroe.”

A high street retailer is being lined up to take over the store, the Lancashire Telegraph understands.

Council leader Miles Parkinson said the closure of M&S and Homebase were not linked.

“They’re completely unrelated. M&S was a total surprise but with Homebase we have been aware that they were disposing of their stores across the country, and dividing them up by approaching certain retailers to buy them in blocks.

“It’s the decline of the DIY trade – that’s the national picture.

“People are now more likely to get a tradesperson in.”

Leader of the opposition at Hyndburn Council, Conservative councillr Peter Britcliffe, said: “What can I say except this is another crippling blow to Accrington.

“The town has been left reeling by the news over Christmas and the New Year.”

Cllr Britcliffe said he would be meeting with his Labour counterparts in a bid to save Accrington’s stuttering town centre.

“It’s time we all got together and put political differences aside and I’m hoping to attend a meeting with the leader [Miles Parkinson] and chief executive [David Welsby] next week to see where we can go from here,” he said.

“I will be saying to Miles we need to be working together.”

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, which also counts Argos as one of its brands.

It has 316 large, out-of-town stores in the UK and Ireland and employs 18,000.

In the last financial year, its sales topped £1.5 billion.

Last June, the Lancashire Telegraph reported Homebase’s Burnley store, which employed around 45 retail staff, was changing hands.

The retail warehouse has been transferred to home, leisure and garden rivals The Range which is due to open later this month.

Source : Michael Morrison - Lancashire Telegraph

05 January 2015

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