Gainsborough Focus DIY store bought up by B and Q owners

Focus DIY, Lea Road, Gainsborough G110517-4a
Focus DIY, Lea Road, Gainsborough G110517-4a

THE jobs of 15 employees of a Gainsborough DIY store may be safe after all now that the shop has been snapped up by a retail giant.

Last month, the national chain of 178 Focus DIY stores went into administration, claiming it had ‘no alternative’ after it defaulted on a credit facility owing £174 million.

Ernst and Young were appointed as joint administrators of the Focus DIY Group.

It was later announced that B and Q owners Kingfisher Plc had bought 31 of the Focus Group DIY stores for £23 million, but it was uncertain whether the branch on Lea Road, Gainsborough was one of them.

But now Kingfisher has confirmed that Gainsborough is amongst the list of the potential stores.

Kingfisher’s Group chief executive Ian Cheshire said that he hoped the purchase would bring greater service to the regional branches, although negotiations were still yet to be finalised.

“We hope to be able to bring B and Q’s choice, convenience and value to these communities as soon as possible,” he said.

“However, the final number of stores is dependent on clearance from the regulatory authorities and satisfactory negotiations with landlords.”

He added: “A swift conclusion to this process would enable B and Q to take on all the staff at these stores.”

Kingfisher Plc is one of Europe’s leading home improvement retail groups and the third largest in the world, with 860 stores in eight countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands are B and Q, Castorama, Brico Dépôt and Screwfix.

Ernst and Young joint administrator Simon Allport said that he was delighted with the sale.

“These deals represent an exceptional outcome for creditors of Focus Group DIY,” he said. “We are grateful to all of the group’s loyal customers, employees and suppliers for their continued support.”

A further 13 stores have also been sold to Wickes Building supplies Ltd.