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Dorchester Focus DIY staff to revive store independently

Former staff from Dorchester’s Focus DIY store are attempting to revive the branch as an independent retailer.

The store’s former general manager Bob Foster and his management team have been attempting to secure investment to re-open the outlet, which closed in July after the Focus DIY chain went into administration.

Mr Foster said that, despite the national chain’s financial woes, the Dorchester Focus DIY store had been a profitable outlet and stressed the potential of the enterprise.

Mr Foster, 49, who was manager of the store for 12 months before it closed, said: “There is still an awful lot of potential there and there was a local business man who was quite interested in putting the money up and running it as an independent DIY store.”

Mr Foster said the previous bidder eventually pulled out due to concerns over the terms of the lease but he was hoping these could be overcome and a deal struck with those responsible for disposing of the store.

He said it would be in all parties’ interests to have a thriving independent store on site rather than leave it sitting empty.

Mr Foster said the Dorchester store was outperforming all others in the region before it closed, even in gardening despite not having an official gardening centre.

He said: “It was one of the most profitable stores in the country and we had done a lot of work there. What I’m looking for is someone who will fund it, I’m quite happy to be just an employee as store manager and take the store forward.

“The sky is the limit for the store, it’s got a lot of potential.

“I just want to make people aware that there is this empty building there, Dorchester is crying out for a DIY store and see if somebody out there has got the vision to see it’s the right location.”

Mr Foster said the aim for the new store was to offer an independent DIY and gardening retailer that would not be limited in its ranges.

He added that he hoped to employ 17 staff, including three on a part-time basis.

Mr Foster is keen to hear from anyone interested in the proposal, who can email

Source : Harry Hogger – Dorset Echo

29 September 2011
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