The exact locations of the Focus DIY stores acquired by Wickes, Kingfisher and B&M Bargains have been revealed today by the failed home and DIY retailer’s administrator.
Ernst & Young (E&Y) confirmed that Wickes and B&M have conditionally agreed to buy 13 and 11 stores respectively, while B&Q owner Kingfisher will take on up to 31 outlets.
It was announced yesterday that restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers had been appointed to liquidate the stock of the 120 Focus DIY stores which remain unsold, with the disposal process starting immediately and a ‘closing down’ sale starting this weekend.
E&Y said that it envisages staff at stores acquired by Wickes and B&M will transfer to their new owners as part of the individual transactions, but Kingfisher issued a separate statement saying that it is not yet certain how many shops will be acquired.
Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s Group CEO, commented: “The final number of stores is dependent on clearance from the regulatory authorities and satisfactory negotiations with landlords.
“A swift conclusion to this process would enable B&Q to take on all the staff at these stores.”
Around 900 retail jobs have been saved by selling off the 55 outlets, but 3,000 more employees look set to be made unemployed as a result of the store closures.
The majority of stores acquired by Wickes are in south of England locations such as Burgess Hill in Sussex and Chesham in Buckinghamshire, but B&M’s new properties are all in the north of England or Scotland.
Kingfisher purchased its news sites from Focus DIY’s administrators for £23 million and the stores it has chosen are located across the UK, including three in Wales and one in Scotland.
It will convert the properties into its B&Q format, adding to the 330 outlets already operating under this brand in the UK and Ireland.
Cheshire remarked: “We hope to be able to bring B&Q’s choice, convenience and value to these new communities as soon as possible.”
Focus DIY stores being acquired, subject to clearance:
Kingfisher: Ashington, Buxton, Cardigan, Chard, Consett, Devizes, Dorchester, Ebbw Vale, Rhyd-Y-Blew, Fakenham, Gainsborough, Goole, Harrogate, Haverhill, Huntingdon, Kendal, Leominster, Leven, Louth, Malvern, Melton Mowbray, Newark-on-Trent, Pembroke, Shepton Mallet, Skegness, Spalding, Stroud, Sudbury, Thetford, Uttoxeter, Witney.
Wickes: Beverley, Bishops Stortford, Burgess Hill, Chesham, Hailsham, Hertford, Hinckley, Maldon, Nuneaton, Rushden, Tunstall, West Wickham, Winsford.
B&M: Alloa, Bathgate, Brownhills, Burnley, Coalville, Cramlington, Darlington, Dunfermline, Leek, Shipley, Skipton.