Stores set to close at Travis

Travis Perkins has announced store closures
Travis Perkins has announced store closures
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Builders’ merchant Travis Perkins is to close more than 30 branches in a move affecting 600 jobs.

Travis Perkins warned that job losses would fall across its trade brands, such as Travis Perkins, Benchmarx, and plumbing and heating businesses BSS and PTS.

The company, which has stores at Chorley Road and Plumpton Close, Whitehills, Blackpool and a site at the Kirkham Trading Park, Freckleton Road, hopes to relocate some of the 600 staff involved but has not yet publically revealed which are to close.

Travis, which employs 28,000 staff, said that, as well as shutting branches across the trade businesses, it is also closing 10 smaller distribution centres and putting its heating and plumbing division under review.

Its retail chains Wickes and Toolstation are not affected.

The overhaul comes as it warned over full-year profits amid “uncertain” trading.

It said underlying earnings would be slightly lower than expected this year, while it also cautioned over the outlook for 2017.

Travis Perkins chief executive John Carter said: “It is still too early to predict customer demand in 2017 with certainty and we will continue to monitor our lead indicators closely.

“Given this uncertainty we will be closing over 30 branches and making further efficiency-driven changes in the supply chain, resulting in an exceptional charge of £40-50m this year.”

The group, which has 2,060 branches group-wide, said the heating and plumbing arm will see the bulk of the branch closures after a “disappointing” performance in the third quarter and in the face of worsening trading conditions.

But it said its general merchanting business saw better trading in the quarter, while Wickes and Toolstation and its contracts businesses put in “very strong performances”.