Following the recent administration of Focus DIY, a further eleven of its stores have been sold to B&Q Retail, by administrator Ernst & Young. Discount retailer B&N has 230 stores nationwide, selling household textiles, electrical goods, housewares and décor products. It attracts over one million customers a week. The purchase has saved more than 200 jobs. This acquisition adds to the recent purchases of Focus DIY stores by B&Q and Travis Perkins, which owns the Wickes brand.
B&Q has already been reported to have bought 81 stores for £23 million while Travis Perkins has bought 13 for a reported £8.4million. Focus DIY had I78 stores employing nearly 4,000 people. There are also reports that Chris Dawson, owner of The Range homewares chain, who bought all of MFI’s stock when it went under in 2008, is interested in the chain. The Focus DIY business was founded in I987 by Bill Archer when he bought six Choice DIY stores and rebranded them to Focus DIY a year later. The company then bought Wickes in 2000 in a deal worth a reported £296million, before selling Wickes on five years later to Travis Perkins.
Supermodel fronts Franke campaign
Celebrating its Centennial anniversary, Franke has invested in its most expensive press advertising campaign, to date, fronted by supermodel Heidi Klum. The aim of the multi-million pound campaign, said to be in double digits, is to move Franke from a product driven brand to an aspirational lifestyle brand. It has been designed to appeal to consumers, architects and kitchen designers and will be used throughout the world but the images are embargoed until June 1. CEO of Franke Kitchens Systems group, Torsten Tuerling commented:
“As a globally recognisable face, Heidi Klum embodies the aesthetic and hardworking qualities of our products and systems and is someone who is instantly associated with good taste and effortless elegance.” He continued: “As the kitchen sink itself has been transformed from a simple household article into a lifestyle addition, our campaigns have evolved from product to an aspirational lifestyle focus that engages with our customers on a more emotional level beyond functionality. We want to win minds and hearts for Franke”.