Focus head axed after restructure

Focus marketing director Jill Keen has been squeezed out as part of a restructure at the DIY chain.

The restructure follows the launch of Focus’ three-year renewal plan, which includes a major refit for all its stores and the development of a category management system designed to improve the chain’s product offer. The chain’s stores will also be repositioned so that the majority are situated in market town catchment areas.

The renewal plan has been put in place by managing director Steve Johnson, a former Asda corporate marketing director who joined the business in January after a two-year stint at GUS.

Keen became marketing director of Focus following its acquisition of Great Mills in 2000, where she held the same position. She has overseen the rebranding of Great Mills stores under the Focus name. Marketing controller Keith Phippen will head the marketing team and report to Johnson. Simon Singleton, former operations and trading director for George Clothing, has also joined Focus as operations director.

Behind the overhaul at Focus is the need to exploit an estimated 6.6 per cent annual growth rate in the DIY retail market from 2002 to 2007 (source: Verdict Research).

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