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Closed Focus stores fail to get tenants

Five stores in the Black Country that closed down when a DIY chain went into administration face an uncertain future after failing to attract new tenants.

The Focus DIY outlets are back in the hands of their landlords after administrators did not receive any “viable” offers. And the administrators today said it was now the responsibility of the landlords to continue the search for new firms to take over. All of the stores closed down last June, with more than 100 workers losing their jobs.

Administrators Ernst & Young moved in and started looking for firms willing to take over the sites at Wolverhampton, Wednesfield, Kingswinford, Aldridge and Walsall, but none were found. The landlords of each site originally refused offers for the leases to be surrendered.

A total of 17 jobs went at a shop in the Peel Centre, Stafford Street in Wolverhampton, along with 17 in Lichfield Road, Wednesfield, 18 at Walsall Retail Park, 19 in Coppice Lane,Aldridge and 30 in Dudley Road, Kingswinford.

Ernst & Young spokeswoman Vicky Conybeer said: “The keys to the properties are now with the landlords and they are their responsibility.” Administrators said they have “undertaken a property marketing exercise” for all Focus stores, including those in the Black Country, assisted by specialist property advisers. But buyers were not found and the five stores remain empty.

It comes as deals are in sight for vacant Floors-2-Go stores that shut last year. Interested parties have come forward for sites in Brierley Hill and Great Barr. But administrators still need someone for Wolverhampton, Bilston and Walsall.

Source : Express and Star
www.expressandstar.com/news/2012/03/12/closed-focus-stores-fail-to-get-tenants/

12 March 2012
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