Homebase hasn't been having a good time of it recently. Not only was it sold of to a company that managed to drive it into the ground, prompting it to be sold off for a measly £1 to HMV owners Hilco, recent news claims a further 42 stores are at risk of shutting down in an attempt to stop the company losing money. Now, though, Amazon has put in a bid for some of the ailing company's empty properties.
It seems really odd that Amazon would be interested in a company that loses so much money, but apparently it's got the idea that buying Homebase could help bolster its existing logistics and delivery services. As the Telegraph points out, some retailers are having issues finding useful warehouse locations, and because Homebases are almost all in built-up areas it means products are closer to customers and can be delivered more easily. It's been suggested that this is more focused on the Prime Now one-hour delivery service, which Amazon has been expanding across the UK since its launch in 2015.
It's worth mentioning that the bid doesn't involve buying out Homebase and bringing it under the Amazon banner. Reports claim that the company is only interested in the property that are on the way out. Those stores are being shut down under a company voluntary agreement, with closures pencilled in for the end of this year and start of 2019. Unfortunately there's no word on whether the potential sale would save any of the 1,500 jobs currently at risk.
There's also no word on what happens to the Homebase stores that have already shut down. The one near me is set to be demolished, along with the husk of Toys R Us, and turned into housing, so it looks like Amazon won't be allowed anywhere near that. But as for any other that are lying around unused? Wouldn't be surprising if they'd at least considered buying them up as well.
Amazon had no comment to make when asked about the report. [Telegraph]