Focus on DIY gap in market
I WAS the general manager of Focus in Dorchester. I lived in Stoke-on-Trent more than 200 miles from my store. When the store closed mine was the top performing store of the region and one of the most profitable.
Although my staff and I were hit hard by the closure, it should be noted that the biggest effect of the failure of Focus was the major detrimental impact it had on the customer and market place in general.
The demise of Focus has left a huge gap for a traditional mid-price DIY supplier.
I tried to buy my store in order to open it as an independent DIY retailer but I was up against Chris Dawson (The Range) who purchased the store as part of a multi site deal.
What are the alternatives to Focus? Homebase is not a DIY chain, it is a home enhancement supplier, with the belief in its superiority borne from its days of being part of Sainsbury's.
Wickes is more aimed at the tradesman than the DIY enthusiast.
B&Q (Kingfisher) is a giant, the Tesco of DIY, which now has thepower of being able to dictate pricing in the DIY sector.
Even though all the staff of Focus lost, the biggest loser was the customer.
ROBERT FOSTER Blurton