Focus, which is awaiting confirmation of continued support from its banks, has struck a deal with Carpetright for the floor coverings specialist to open concessions in its stores.
The retailer has teamed with Carpetright in two shops – at Alton in Hampshire and Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire – in an attempt to generate more revenue from its larger stores.
Focus chief executive Bill Grimsey said: “Carpetright fits brilliantly with our proposition and we want to foster that relationship.”
The DIY retailer said it has freed 100,000 sq ft of retail space for downsizing and concessions as it seeks to steer through the recession.
Banks GMAC and HBoS have agreed in principle to renew a two-year £50m credit facility and hired Ernst & Young to conduct an independent business review, which will be delivered this week.
A decision by the banks is expected next Friday.
Sales at Focus are running 1.5 per cent ahead of budget at present and operating costs are 3 per cent below budget. Trading EBITDA is up 9 per cent on budget. Grimsey is hopeful that the banks will give the go-ahead for continued support. “We came here to win, not to roll over and die,” he said.
By the end of this year Focus aims to have secured its banking facilities, prepared roll-out plans for its new Genesis store model and maintained market share.
Grimsey said Focus will also have exited its 20 non-trading stores by the end of 2009 which are costing the retailer £12m a year at present. “We will deal with it this year, there is no question of that,” said Grimsey. All options are being considered, including a CVA.
Focus has also identified 100 towns where it could trade and intends to begin opening shops mid-way through next year, should the banks approve financing.
➤ Allied Carpets’ notice of intention to appoint an administrator to its property arm expires today. The retailer can seek an extension of the notice period if necessary, as it has already done once.
BDO Stoy Hayward is lined up to handle the potential administration and has hired BNP Paribas to dispose of underperforming stores.