Cookie policy

What are cookies?

Last updated: 22 May 2012

A cookie is a text file containing small amounts of information which is placed by a website within computer or device through your web browser; the cookie is subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser.

Cookies are designed to assist your computer or device to remember something the user has done within that website, e.g. remembering that the user has logged in, or which buttons have been clicked.

There are specific cookies related to knowing a user is logged in or not. These are known as authentication cookies. Authentication cookies are important for the website to know what information to show you (the user), or if it needs you to log in.

Cookies cannot carry viruses or install malware.

If you wish to find out more about cookies, you may find this website helpful - (This link will open in a new window. Home Retail Group is not responsible for the content of this or any other external website).

By using the Home Retail Group website, you are agreeing to our privacy and cookie policies and consent to the use of cookies and similar technologies by us. If you do not agree to such use, please see the 'managing your cookies' section for details on how to adjust your settings.

Cookie terminology

  • Session cookies - only last for the duration of your browsing session on the website. Your web browser would normally delete these when you close the browser.
  • Persistent cookies - these last longer than the browser session e.g if you log into a website and then return to the same website some days later, the website knows who you are and displays a welcome message to you. Persistent cookies enable this to happen.
  • First party cookies - these are set by the domain (or sub-domain) in the web browser e.g. at Home Retail Group, our first party cookies are set by sub-domains.
  • Third party cookies - these are set by a different domain to the one on the website you are looking at. Third party cookies are used for a variety of reasons. The Home Retail Group website does not use third party cookies.

Cookies that we use on our site

To help you understand how we use cookies we are providing a list of the cookies in use on the Home Retail Group pages.

The list below will be updated as cookies change on our site. Whilst we intend to update this page regularly, there may occasionally be some cookies missing from the list.

  • _utma keeps track of the number of times you have visited the Home Retail Group website.
  • _utmb and _utmc cookies work together to show the duration of your visit. _utmb takes a timestamp of the exact moment when you enter the Home Retail Group website, while _utmc takes a timestamp of the exact moment in time when you leave our website.
    _utmb expires at the end of the session, while _utmc waits 30 minutes and then expires. This is because _utmc doesn't know when you close your browser or leave our website, so it waits 30 minutes for another pageview to happen and if it doesn't, it expires.
  • _utmz keeps track of which website you came from, which search engine was used, which link was clicked on, any keyword(s) used and your location, when a website was accessed. This cookie expires in six months.

Managing your cookies

You have different options to manage the cookies on your computer or device. You can change your browser settings to prevent cookies from being accepted, or, depending on which browser you are using, you might be able to receive an alert when a website is trying to place a cookie on your browser. With most browsers you can allow first party cookies to be set but refuse to allow third party cookies.

If you change your cookie preferences, you will still be able to browse around the site but certain functions may not be available.

Your browsers 'help' menu should tell you how to block cookies or change your cookie settings. How you adjust your browser will depend on the browser you are using.

You can delete cookies stored in your browser by using a function in your browser - 'clearing your cookies'. Whilst this doesn't mean that you won't collect cookies in the future, it gives you freedom to delete your cookies after you have been online.

Clearing cookies on one browser on one device doesn't automatically clear them on another; you need to clear all browsers on all channels independently.