DIY store staff are left in dark over job losses

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MYSTERY surrounds the future for staff at a Wigan DIY superstore.

National chain Focus Do It All have passed from administration into full liquidation, receivers Ernst and Young has confirmed.

But they refused today to say exactly what this will mean for the dozen staff at the Crewe-based firm’s large store in Tyldesley.

High street rivals Wickes are known to be buying 13 sites and rebranding them as part of their own expansion plans.

While B&Q, the biggest player in the home improvement market, is in negotiation to purchase a further 31 Focus sites.

Nationally more than 3,000 jobs are now under threat because of Ernst and Young’s failure to find a buyer for the group as a whole.

A liquidation of all stock including that at the Tyldesley store in Tyldesley Road will begin this weekend.

Some lines have prices reduced by as much as a quarter leading, it’s likely, to brisk business this weekend.

Ernst and Young today declined to say whether the Tyldesley site would be sold to their DIY rivals or simply closed outright, claiming the decision was still “confidential.”

Ernst and Young joint administrator Simon Allport said, “We have been working hard to sell the business as a going concern and to maximise value for creditors. While we have been successful in securing up to 900 jobs from the sale of 55 stores in three separate deals, finding a buyer for the whole of the business has not been possible. UK retailers are facing one of the most challenging retail environments in recent times and the DIY sector has become highly competitive, with only the strongest players being able to survive.”

Focus called in the administrators after defaulting on its credit facility, blaming the difficult economic environment.