New B&Q store set to open

A new do-it-yourself store opens in Sudbury tomorrow.

B&Q is set to employ 35 staff, including nearly half from the former Focus store where it is based.

After a month-long refurbishment programme, to stock it with more than 15,000 products and to change the interior and exterior signs to B&Q’s orange and white signs, the store is finally ready to open on the Woodhall Business Park.

Store manager David McCollin said: “The team, both existing and new, are excited about the store opening and serving the local community.

“We’ve had a few weeks to get to know each other, and we’re really looking forward to meeting all our new customers.

“The new team spans several generations from Chris Meggs, our 16-year-old school leaver, to our oldest, Gillian Gibbons, who is 72 and full of beans.”

B&Q announced a £23million deal to buy 31 Focus stores around the country in June, and said it was hoping to employ former staff if the takeover was approved by the Office of Fair Trading.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve received nearly 15,000 products, we’ve built display kitchens and installed bathroom suites to ensure the store opens with the best possible range of home improvement and garden products,” added Mr McCollin.

B&Q, the largest home improvement and garden centre retailer in the UK and Ireland, said it had chosen to buy the Sudbury site in order to expand at a location where it does not currently have a store. The nearest B&Q stores to Sudbury are in Colchester and Bury St Edmunds.

Focus had 178 stores across the country, and employed nearly 4,000 staff. B&Q has more than 345 stores and employs 30,000 people.