The 21,000 sq ft store, which the DIY retailer describes as a “stepping stone” to where it wants to position itself, opened last week at Wantage in Oxfordshire. Brand director Richard Bird described the store as the “first physical manifestation of the renewed brand”.
Focus has ditched its yellow and blue logo in favour of a lime green and blue one. Inside, the store has shop-in-shop formats under headings such as Hardware and Internal Decoration.
Focus has adopted a less-is-more strategy at the Wantage store, leaving space for a central area to showcase new or seasonal ranges and visual merchandise supplied by leading brands.
“In a normal Focus, customers come in and see a sea of brown boxes piled up high,” said Bird. “There was a feeling that the stores were trying to be all things to all men and that just didn’t work.”
The design overhaul is part of Focus’s year-long Project Genesis, which aims to turn the retailer into a “customer-focused business”.
Focus has honed the three key issues of in-store experience, service and range to target a more defined customer.
“If we know who our core customers are then we can beat B&Q for our customers in those areas,” said Bird. “B&Q may be the best in the class but, at the moment, the class isn’t very good and that gives us a great opportunity.”
Focus will open another new-look store at Pontardawe in Wales next month, followed by Harrogate in autumn. Bird said: “We will open each new store in this format, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This design incorporates our learnings so far but, in terms of ranges and service, we won’t be at our optimum strength until next spring.”