Spalding Focus customers could suffer

The Focus store in Winfrey Avenue, Spalding
The Focus store in Winfrey Avenue, Spalding
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CUSTOMERS could be left out of pocket after Spalding’s Focus store went into administration.

Although the store, and another 174 around the country, will continue to trade for the time being, anyone who has ordered something from the store may not receive it and may not get a refund.

A spokesman for Ernst and Young, the company’s administrators, said each case would be looked at on an individual basis and said anyone concerned should call the customer services helpline.

Spalding’s store, in Winfrey Avenue, employs 16 staff, who have been told that the store will remain open while administrators attempt to sell the business as a going concern.

It has already agreed to sell 31 Focus DIY stores to Kingfisher plc – the parent company of home improvement retailer B&Q – for £23m.

Kingfisher has not yet announced which stores it has bought, but Ian Cheshire, group chief executive, said: “This is a good opportunity for us to accelerate our previously announced plans to expand B&Q into carefully targeted UK locations where we currently have no store representation.

“This will bring better choice and lower prices to customers and provide secure jobs and career prospects in these local communities.”

Simon Allport, joint administrator, said: “This deal represents an exceptional outcome for creditors of Focus Group DIY.

“Meanwhile, we are continuing to trade all stores and it is very much business as usual.”

Focus was founded in 1987 and has sales of about £450million.

After the administration announcement on May 5, Mr Allport blamed low consumer confidence and a very weak housing transaction market for placing pressure in sales and margins.”

Anyone with queries about orders from Focus can call the helpline on 0800 436436.