Focus on protecting employees

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A QUESTION still remains over whether staff at Leven’s stricken Focus store will be guaranteed jobs in a takeover deal.

Rival B&Q bought out the ailing branch on Riverside Road as a part of a £23 million package and the DIY giant is even advertising new part-time jobs on its website.

However, B&Q owner Kingfisher told the Mail the deal was still subject to approval by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

A spokesperson said: “We are hoping to open this site as a B&Q store but we cannot confirm this until we have been given regulatory approval.

“In preparation for this, we have started an initial speculative recruitment process.

“Should we be successful in securing the store, we can then secure jobs and move more swiftly.

The spokesperson added: “Focus staff are also welcome to apply for these positions as we recognise they have valuable skills in our retail sector.”

Focus – which officially stops trading on July 18 – currently employs a team of 18 people.

If the OFT has not given takeover approval by that deadline, the administrator would be forced to close the store and make the team redundant.

The B&Q spokesperson stressed it was the company’s wish to retain every Focus staff member at Leven.

The Mail understands B&Q bosses visited the Leven store recently to talk to staff and request they submit CVs.

Leven’s Focus was the first store to open – in 2005 – at the newly-redeveloped Hawkslaw Business Complex and employed 35 people at the time.