E&Y administrators to close Focus DIY stores

ADMINISTRATORS from Ernst & Young are closing down the retail chain of Focus DIY putting about 3,000 jobs at risk.

Simon Allport, Tom Jack and Alan Hudson, E&Y partners, were appointed joint administrators earlier this month to the struggling DIY retailer. Focus employed about 3,900 staff and operated approximately 178 stores.

The trio have recruited retail consultants Gordon Brothers to advise on the sale of all the stock with a view to closing down the retail chain.

According to a statement 55 stores have been sold in three separate deals including to competitors Kingfisher and Wickes. Unfortunately the administrators have been unable to find a suitable purchaser for the business as a whole.

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.”

While the Administrators are continuing negotiations for the sale of a number of stores across the Group, the stock liquidation is likely to result in a number of Focus stores closing with remaining employees going through a redundancy process.”

The closing down sale begins this weekend.

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