Future remains uncertain for DIY store

THE future of a town DIY store remains uncertain after a company failed in its bid to find a new owner.

It was announced earlier this month that Focus DIY was to go into administration, putting nearly 4,000 jobs at risk nationwide.

Since then the administrators Ernst and Young have managed to find buyers for 55 stores but have been unable to find a buyer for the company as a whole.

Ernst and Young yesterday announced that the chain will be closed down with sales beginnining as early as this weekend.

However, they didn’t say which stores have been bought and which are to close – leaving the future of the Hartlepool store, at Highpoint Retail Park, uncertain.

Staff at the store weren’t sure as to what was going on yesterday.

One worker told the Mail: “We haven’t heard anything at all. We have just seen on the news that the company is going into administration.

“We haven’t been told what is happening in this store.

“We continue to trade as usual.”

Meanwhile, the administrators continue to liaise with companies for the sale of a number of stores across the group but admitted the liquidation is likely to result in a number of store closures and workers being made redundant.

Joint administrator Simon 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.

“We would like to thank all Focus DIY employees for their continued support in what has been a difficult and uncertain time.”

Focus customers with any queries on orders they have made are told to call 0800 436436 or (01270) 503454.

Alternatively, email focusinfo@uk.ey.com