Retail round-up on April 19, 2016: Wesfarmers to axe around 149 roles at Homebase, Target ups minimum wage to $10 an hour and Boots may face pharmacy watchdog.

Wesfarmers axes 149 jobs at Homebase

Homebase’s new owner is laying off nearly 20% of its head office workforce in a bid to streamline support office functions at the recently acquired DIY chain.

Wesfarmers is cutting around 149 jobs at the home improvement retailer, with changes set to affect buying, marketing and other support staff.

Target reportedly hikes its minimum wages to $10 an hour

Wesfarmers-owned department store chain Target has increased its minimum pay rate to $10 (£7.03) per hour, due to mounting pressure from a competitive job market and labour groups demanding higher wages.

The management team at the discount retailer has told its store managers to inform staff that most workers earning under $10 an hour would see their base wage go up next month, Reuters reported, citing sources.

The hike of $1-an-hour is the second in a year by the company.

Boots could come under regulatory probe over pharmacy sales

Boots could face a possible investigation by the pharmacy watchdog over allegations that the chemist chain has been milking NHS schemes to boost profits.

The General Pharmaceutical Council has asked the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), a trade union for pharmacists, to give evidence on claims it has made that managers at the retailer are coming under undue pressure to meet financial targets.

The PDA has alleged that Boots’ managers were pressuring pharmacists to carry out Medicine Use Reviews at a cost of £28 each to the NHS, even for people who may not need or did not want them.