Published on 6 - May - 2011
B&Q to take over 31 ex-Focus storesParent firm announces that it has agreed to buy up to 31 leasehold properties from administrators for £23m.
B&Q will refit the outlets and open them as new B&Q stores later this year. The location of the 31 stores has not yet been confirmed.
Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: "This is a good opportunity for us to accelerate our previously announced plans to expand B&Q into carefully targeted UK locations where we currently have no store representation. This will bring better choice and lower prices to customers and provide secure jobs and career prospects in these local communities."
Administrators Ernst & Young will continue to trade the stores until mid-July, when they will close and the existing workforce of around 700 will be made redundant. The deal with Kingfisher is for property alone and does not include stock or staff. However, a spokesperson for the the firm explained that B&Q would be recruiting a similar number of employees for its new stores and would welcome applications from former Focus staff.
The news confirms speculation that the Focus business is going to be broken up to be sold, with other retailers, including The Range's Chris Dawson, already eyeing stores in its 175-strong portfolio.
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