Wickes to buy 13 Focus shops from administrator

FOCUS DIY’s administrators yesterday agreed the sale of 13 stores to Wickes Building Supplies, saving 345 jobs in the process.

Ernst & Young said it was in “detailed discussions with a number of interested parties” over the sale of further stores.

Focus went into administration earlier this month after being hit by the weak housing market. B&Q-owner Kingfisher has already agreed to buy up to 31 stores for £23m. Ernst & Young said all 178 Focus stores remained open for business. “Since stepping in, we have been trading at record levels as we have been able to offer very competitive prices across the full product range”, said joint administrator Simon Allport.

“We are grateful to all the group’s loyal customers, employees and suppliers for their continued support.”