Losing Focus

Everything must go, say the posters at Focus on Oxford Road








As one of the big names in DIY begins to vanish, a marked contrast can be seen between the way these shops have set out their stall and the way supermarkets have.

Like Homebase in Kenavon Drive and B&Q at Reading Gate retail park, Focus on Oxford Road, has had a refit in recent years and given a big chunk of floorspace over to selling complete kitchens and bathrooms. The others have done the same in an even bigger way.

By selling less and less variety fewer people are going to drop in for small items. They want to sell you a £20,000 kitchen, not a little packet of nails.

So the small shopper has little reason to shop here and browse their goods or make the odd impulse buy.

They go elsewhere, a supermarket perhaps, where there is a bit of a DIY section.

Supermarkets sell almost everything you might want. You pop in for one thing and end up with a basketful you could not resist.

Perhaps DIY shops are run by accountants. They seem to have little idea of the shoppers’ minds, just the mark up on the big ticket items.

And for one chain that hasn’t worked.



About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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