3000 retail jobs set to be lost after Focus DIY is liquidated
After administrators confirmed yesterday that the remaining stock of failed retailer Focus DIY is to be liquidated, around 3,000 retail jobs in the UK will be lost.
Ernst & Young (E&Y) has been offloading the home & DIY specialist’s property portfolio, but around 120 stores have remained unsold.
Restructuring firm Gordon Brothers has been appointed to liquidate Focus DIY’s stock and initiate the store closure programme, and they admitted there is still hope some more outlets will be sold.
The retailer officially went into administration on May 4th, and around 55 stores have been bought by competitors since then. Among them were such companies as B&Q owner Kingfisher, Wickes’ parent company Travis Perkins and B&M Bargains, saving hundreds of jobs in the process.
Focus DIY, which is majority owned by Cerbus Capital, collapsed because it was a weak performer in an overcrowded, slow growth market.
It fought off administration in 2009 when the retailer’s landlords agreed a company voluntary arrangement, but sales continued to struggle in the following two years.
“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.” said Simon Allport, E&Y’s Joint Administrator.
Chris Dawson, owner and CEO of home & garden products retailer The Range initially confirmed an interest in purchasing some Focus DIY stores, but as yet has not moved to acquire any of its competitor’s floor space.
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