Buyer sought as Focus collapse threatens jobs
Ernst & Young, which has been appointed to run the stricken chain, said it hoped to sell the business as a going concern.
In the meantime the business, which runs 175 stores and employs 3,920 staff, will continue to trade as normal, it added.
Joint administrator Simon Allport said Focus DIY had been hit by low consumer confidence and a weak housing market, which had placed considerable pressure on sales and margins.
He added that its management had tried to control costs and restructure the business but had been unable to avoid a collapse.
Focus DIY was founded in 1997 by Bill Archer, with six stores in the Midlands and the North.
It was bought by private equity firm Cerberus for £1 in 2007 as it was heavily indebted at the time, and presently employs 285 people at its head office in Crewe.
It announced this week that it planned to call in administrators after it defaulted on a credit facility.
The chain has also struggled in recent years against tough competition from B&Q and Wickes.
It used to own the Wickes chain, but sold it to Travis Perkins in February 2005.
It underwent a company voluntary arrangement in 2009 when it sought to reduce its rent burden from landlords and reportedly started fresh negotiations over rent repayments at the start of this year.