Friday, 27 May 2011

Farewell Focus

Focus DIY has gone down the toilet. Unfortunately for them, it was one of toilets from their £199 bathroom suite.

What went wrong?

According to The Telegraph,

Simon Allport, one of the administrators, said: "Focus will continue to trade as we look for a buyer for the group and its stores. It is very much business as usual."
He said the company has struggled due to low consumer confidence and a very weak housing market.

Erm... recession = dead housing market = people invest in their houses rather than moving = boom time for DIY stores

What went wrong for the feckless executives of Focus?

They sat on their backsides and let their competitors run riot, basically.

Homebase shifted their brand positioning upwards, aiming at people who live on piers at the seaside.

B&Q used their size to control costs, mainly by replacing much of their stock with cheap tat.

Wickes crept up from their bargain basement builder's yard image and started nibbling away at Focus' target market.

This has happened so often to so many corporations that you'd think CEOs would have learned their lesson by now. Yet, time after time, huge High Street names disappear because they sit still while their competitors nibble up from the bottom and squeeze down from the top.

Focus tried to broaden their product base, moving into pet products and other such junk, but taking on new product lines is costly, and if your bank balance is heading south, you need to reduce the product range, not increase it.

"Despite management's actions to tightly control costs and restructure the operations, unfortunately it has not been possible for the business to continue to trade outside of insolvency," Mr Allport said. The company, run by former Iceland boss Bill Grimsey, warned last night that it had defaulted on a loan and was preparing to appoint an administrator

Former Iceland boss? well, there's the problem then. The company's in trouble? Quick, sell a load of cheap tat and keep your fingers crossed.

Mums go to Iceland... Dads used to go to Focus... now they'll have to stick to reading the Auto Trader on the toilet.

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