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HomeBase Announces Four New Store Sites; Three in California and One in Arizona.

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 1, 1998--HomeBase Inc. (NYSE:HBI) Wednesday announced it has entered into agreements for four future store sites as part of its previously announced accelerated growth strategy.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The new stores will be located in Norco, Norwalk and Los Angeles, as well as as in Phoenix.

The Norco, Norwalk and Phoenix HomeBase stores are currently scheduled to open in the first half of 1999. The Los Angeles store opening is planned for late 1999 or early the following year. The store in Everett, Wash., is on schedule to open in October 1998 and the second store, previously planned for this year, has been delayed and will open next year.

"In addition to these new locations, our expansion plans include opening four to six more stores by January 2000," said HomeBase President and Chief Executive Officer Allan Sherman. "Our strategy is to leverage our existing advertising and distribution expenses by adding eight to 10 stores a year in existing and contiguous markets."

The new HomeBase stores will be 110,000 square feet. The customer-friendly layout includes wide aisles, a centrally located design center and an additional 23,000 square feet of outdoor selling space.

The Norco store will be at the intersection of Yuma Drive and the I-215 Freeway, in Riverside County. The Norwalk store will be located on Imperial Highway at the corner of Pioneer Boulevard and will share the shopping center with another tenant. The other Los Angeles location is off the Glendale Freeway (Route 2) on San Fernando Road where it crosses Fletcher Drive.

These new stores will bring the total number of HomeBase stores in Los Angeles County to 14 and in Riverside County to four. The Phoenix store will be the sixth HomeBase in the greater Phoenix area and will be on the corner of Bell and Cave Creek Roads.

HomeBase had sales of $1.5 billion for its year ended Jan. 31, 1998. The average sales per store amounted to approximately $17.7 million last year.

With headquarters in Irvine, HomeBase currently operates 83 home improvement warehouses in 10 western states. HomeBase (formerly Waban Inc. ) is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HBI" and can be located on the Internet at http://www.homebase.com.

Matters discussed in this document that are forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the company's ability to secure real estate locations and planning permits to execute its accelerated store-opening plan, and a highly fragmented and competitive home improvement marketplace. Other risk factors are set forth in the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 1998 and in the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: HomeBase Inc., Irvine

Suki Shattuck

Director of Investor Relations

949/442-5448
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 1, 1998
Words:489
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