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B&Q's new focus is on securing jobs

B&Q is to get the keys to the 30 Focus stores it bought from administrators tomorrow paving the way for 600 jobs to be secured.

The stores will be converted into B&Q branches and opened throughout the second half of the retailer’s financial year, giving it the opportunity to rehire previous Focus employees.

The retailer’s parent company Kingfisher is expected to reveal on Thursday that second quarter sales at the UK DIY retailer have dropped off from a bumper first quarter that benefited from good weather and an extra bank holiday.

Second quarter like-for-like sales for UK B&Q stores are likely to be down by 3 per cent, according to forecasts by Shore Capital analyst Ramona Tipnis.

The chain lost trade to the closing down sales at former rival Focus. Otherwise B&Q has benefited from improved product and strong advertising campaigns, according to Tipnis. She said: “The UK is helped by range reviews and the move towards making DIY more accessible.”

In-store marketing has featured television home improvement experts George Clarke and Kirstie Allsopp.

Focus went into administration in May this year after it defaulted on its banking debts.

Private equity-owned, the chain had almost 180 stores and it employed a 4,000-strong workforce.

Source : Emma Vickers -

18 July 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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