Owner of online home and garden products retailer The Range, Chris Dawson, has expressed an interest in purchasing the threatened Focus DIY business, it has emerged today.
It was confirmed yesterday that Focus DIY had fallen into administration with almost 4,000 retail jobs put at risk, but Dawson believes that if the price is right he can continue to expand the business.
Having previously bought all of the stock and stores previously owned by now defunct retailers MFI and Empire Direct, the purchase of Focus DIY could continue The Range’s growth agenda.
Dawson commented: “It would be a deal that would create and save jobs and help the country’s economic recovery.
“I have a proven track record that I will do these kind of deals if people are serious and sensible.”
Focus DIY is majority owned by Cerbus Capital and has around 170 stores nationwide, after offloading six stores to supermarket Asda earlier this year.
Sales have been consistently low for a few years at the home & DIY specialist despite an attempt to turn the business around with a voluntary company arrangement in 2009.
The Range currently has a portfolio of 51 stores in the UK and the firm is estimated to be worth over £300 million.
Ernst & Young confirmed today that its employees Simon Allport, Tom Jack and Alan Hudson have been appointed joint administrators for Focus DIY.
Allport said: “Low consumer confidence and a very weak housing transaction market has impacted on Focus and placed considerable pressure on sales & margins.
“Focus will continue to trade as we look for a buyer for the group and its stores. It is very much business as usual and we are grateful to all the group’s loyal customers, suppliers and employees for their continued support.”