With a 13% share of the UK repair, maintenance and home-improvement market, Focus Wickes is second only to the DIY giant B&Q. Starting with just six Choice DIY stores in 1987, Bill Archer has built the company, first through the acquisition of the Do It All chain in 1998 for £60m, and then Wickes and Great Mills for £300m each in 2000. The Crewe company now has more than 400 UK stores and employed 16,000 people in 2001. Its acquisition strategy helped drive up sales 97% a year from £191m in 1998 to £1.5 billion in 2001.
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