Home Retail Group

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Home Retail Group plc
Home Retail Group
FateAcquired by Sainsbury's
PredecessorGUS plc
Founded10 October 2006; 12 years ago (2006-10-10)
Defunct2 September 2016; 2 years ago (2016-09-02)
Headquarters489-499 Avebury Boulevard, Saxon Gate West, ,
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
John Coombe, Chairman
John Walden, CEO
ProductsConsumer goods
OwnerJ Sainsbury's

Home Retail Group plc was a home and general merchandise retailer based in the United Kingdom. It was the parent company of Argos and Habitat, and also owned the DIY chain Homebase, until it sold it to the Australian retailer Wesfarmers in February 2016. Home Retail Group was listed on the London Stock Exchange, until it was acquired by the British supermarket company Sainsbury's for £1.4 billion on 2 September 2016.


GUS plc acquired Argos in April 1998, and combined it with its mail order business to form Argos Retail Group (ARG) in 2000.[1] It went on to acquire Homebase for £900 million in November 2002, bringing it into ARG.[2]

In June 2005, GUS bought thirty three stores of Index, which were subsequently converted to the Argos format.[3] ARG was renamed Home Retail Group, upon its demerger in 2006 from GUS.[4] Shares in Home Retail Group were traded on the London Stock Exchange as from 11 October 2006.[5]

In October 2007, Home Retail Group bought twenty seven stores from Focus DIY and converted them to the Homebase format.[6] In June 2011, the Group bought the exclusive rights to the Habitat brand, its brand designs and intellectual property in the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with three stores in London and its website.[7]

In November 2015, the group rejected a £1 billion takeover proposal from the supermarket company Sainsbury's, which it revealed on 5 January 2016.[8] On 18 January 2016, it was confirmed that Homebase would be sold to the Australian retailer Wesfarmers for £340 million, subject to shareholder approval.[9] The sale was completed on 27 February 2016.[10]

Sainsbury's submitted a revised offer of £1.3 billion on 2 February 2016, with a deadline of 23 February to make a firm bid.[11] Steinhoff International submitted a rival bid of £1.4 billion on 19 February.[12] Steinhoff abandoned its bid on 18 March 2016, while Sainsbury's submitted a formal bid of £1.4 billion.[13] On 1 April 2016, the company agreed to a takeover offer from Sainsbury's. The deal was completed on 2 September 2016.[14]


Home Retail Group's businesses, Argos and Habitat operate in over eight hundred stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The group had a 49% holding in a multi channel general merchandise retail business in China, called HH Retail Limited, with Haier Group, one of the world's leading home appliance manufacturers, holding the remaining 51%.[15] The group sold its 33% shareholding in Ogalas Limited (which trades as 'home store + more' in the Republic of Ireland) on 8 March 2013.[16]

Home Retail Group owns a number of well known brands, including Alba, Bush, Chad Valley, Cherokee, Habitat, Hygena, Schreiber, Challenge, Sovereign, Cookworks and Heart of House.[17]

Financial performance[edit]

All figures below are for the Group's financial years, which run for fifty two or fifty three week periods to end of February/beginning of March.[18]

52/53 weeks ended Turnover
before tax
for year
Basic earnings
per share

28 February 2015 5,710.4 93.8 71.6 9.4
1 March 2014 5,663.0 71.2 54.0 6.8
2 March 2013 5,475.4 130.1 94.0 11.7
3 March 2012 5,582.8 104.1 72.8 9.1
26 February 2011 5,851.9 265.2 190.9 23.1
27 February 2010 6,022.7 293.0 209.8 24.3
28 February 2009 5,897.4 (394.2) (413.1) (47.7)
1 March 2008 5,984.8 426.0 294.6 34.0


  1. ^ "Our story". Home Retail Group. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  2. ^ "GUS snaps up Homebase". BBC News. 21 November 2002. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  3. ^ Anticipated acquisition by GUS plc of part of the Index Business of Littlewoods Ltd Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. OFT
  4. ^ "GUS reveals demerger plans". Investors Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Welcome". London Stock Exchange. 11 October 2006. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011.
  6. ^ Completed acquisition by Home Retail Group plc of 27 leasehold properties from Focus (DIY) Ltd Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. OFT
  7. ^ "Habitat stores enter administration as part of sale". BBC News. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Sainsbury's bid approach for Argos owner Home Retail rejected". BBC News. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  9. ^ Homebase bought by Australia's Wesfarmers for £340m, BBC News, 18 January 2016, retrieved 21 February 2016
  10. ^ Neilan, Catherine (29 February 2016). "Homebase to be rebranded Bunnings after Wesfarmers completes £340m acquisition from Home Retail Group - now what's happening with Argos?". City A.M. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  11. ^ Johnston, Chris (2 February 2016). "Sainsbury's to 'future-proof' with £1.3bn Argos deal". BBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  12. ^ Armstrong, Ashley; Marlow, Ben; Williams, Christopher (20 February 2016). "Sainsbury's bid for Argos hangs in balance amid threat of competition probe". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Sainsbury's bids for Argos owner Home Retail Group". BBC News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Sainsbury's acquisition of Argos parent company now complete". Retail Gazette. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  15. ^ Haier Elec (HKG:1169) invests US$15M in JV with Home Retail Archived 2013-04-14 at Archive.is Chinese Stock Information, 19 October 2011
  16. ^ Commission clears acquisition of Ogalas by Home Retail and Durinicum Practical Law, 2007
  17. ^ "Our brands". Home Retail Group. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Home Retail Group. Retrieved 9 April 2016.

External links[edit]