On The Rocks

Threshers off-licence goes into administration



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The future of Threshers throughout Ealing looks uncertain after the company that owns the off-licence chain fell into administration.

First Quench Retailing, which also owns The Local, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Haddows, has not yet closed any stores but 81 redundancies have already been made at head office after the company's collapse last week.

Administrators KPMG say they are in the process of assessing the viability of each of the company's shops: “Administrators are in the process of stabilising the business whilst a marketing campaign for the sale of the business and assets as a going concern are being undertaken. It is hoped that a sale can be achieved within a short time-frame. We will be in contact with all affected parties shortly but in the meantime we appreciate your patience and support whilst we focus our efforts on the survival of the business.

“The stores will be open for business as usual. Unfortunately we are unable to sell any gift vouchers or honour any vouchers that have already been issued.”

KPMG say a letter will be circulated to all staff shortly.

Richard Fleming, UK Head of Restructuring at KPMG, commented: “Trading in the off-licence sector has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with the recession proving too much of an additional burden in this case. The business has a comprehensive geographic footprint, however, and we believe this presents a compelling opportunity to other retailers who may wish to extend their reach. We will continue to trade the remaining business while we seek a buyer.”

First Quench operates 1,202 stores, and employs over six thousand people. A further 86 stores are owned by franchisees and, as they operate as separate businesses owned by their own management teams, they do not fall within the remit of the administration.

November 2nd, 2009