Focus administrators prepare to close 100+ centres

Ernst & Young has appointed retail consultants Gordon Brothers to run closing down sales in all of Focus's 178 stores.

Ernst & Young said it expects some branches to close - image: FocusDIY
Ernst & Young said it expects some branches to close - image: FocusDIY

Some 55 have been sold to rivals but the remainder are likely to close.

Joint administrator Simon Allport said: "We have been working hard to sell the business as a going concern and to maximise value for creditors.

"While we have been successful in securing up to 900 jobs from the sale of 55 stores in three separate deals, finding a buyer for the whole of the business has not been possible.

"UK retailers are facing one of the most challenging retail environments in recent times and the DIY sector has become highly competitive, with only the strongest players being able to thrive and survive."

B&Q has bought 31 stores, Wickes took 13 and B&M Retail - owner of the B&M Bargains chain - took 11.

A spokesman for Ernst & Young said that it is continuing negotiations for the sale of a "number" of Focus stores. However it added that "the stock liquidation is likely to result in a number of Focus stores closing with remaining employees going through a redundancy process".


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