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Wincanton launches consultation process at Focus Tamworth DC

Logistics giant Wincanton has launched a consultation process with employees at its Focus warehouse distribution centre in Tamworth, Staffordshire, as administrators of the stricken DIY chain continue to carve up the business.

Wincanton provides warehousing for Focus DIY as part of a three-year deal signed in 2009 and valued at £33m in total turnover. It initially suspended services at its DC in Tamworth where it has 300 employees when Ernst & Young was appointed as administrator of the 178-strong chain earlier this month.

A spokeswoman for Wincanton confirms that "it remains in close contact with Focus's appointed administrator, Ernst and Young, and is supporting the Focus operation in line with its requirements".

She adds: "The company can also confirm that it has entered into consultation with its employees based at the Focus warehouse distribution centre in Tamworth. Wincanton would like to thank the team at Tamworth for its ongoing dedication during this difficult time."

Travis Perkins, the owner of Wickes, is the latest retailer to snap up Focus stores and has bought 13 stores from the administrators in a £8.4m deal, revealed today (18 May). It plans to convert them to its Wickes brand.

B&Q owner Kingfisher, which partners with Wincanton for its logistics, has already put in an offer in 31 Focus Stores. All Focus stores continue to trade.

Rugby-based Lloyd Fraser provides transport services to the Focus chain under a £30m deal nearing its end. In April, the firm reported it had bounced back after a tough 2010 that saw the full impact of Travis Perkins' decision to take distribution for its Wickes business in-house hit home.

Source : Chris Druce - Road

18 May 2011
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