Jobs to be axed as Threshers collapses

Administrators of the Threshers and Wine Rack group today warned of store closures and jobs losses following the collapse of First Quench Retailing last night.

KPMG has already made 81 redundancies at the firm's head office in Welwyn Garden City and said it was likely further jobs would face the axe among the remaining 6,283-strong workforce.



"Unfortunately it is likely that some store closures and further redundancies will be made. Once the administrators have assessed the viability of each store, a further communication will be announced," said KPMG.



First Quench operates a total of 1,202 outlets under the Threshers and Wine Rack brands, as well as Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and local convenience store chains The Local and Haddows.



But there are also another 86 stores - employing an estimated 430 staff - that are run as franchises and have not been placed in administration, as they operate as separate businesses owned by their own management.



KPMG confirmed none of the First Quench stores had closed yet and said it was running the business as a going concern in the hope of securing a buyer.









Threshers - founded in 1897 - was placed in administration late yesterday after struggling amid fierce competition for drink sales from superstores.

Richard Fleming, joint administrator and UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: "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 yesterday sought to assure staff - including around 3,000 full-time workers - that KPMG would seek to run the business as normal while seeking a buyer and said wages would be paid next week as planned.



It is understood the group had been looking at various options for the business in an attempt to stave off administration, including trying to find a buyer.



At the beginning of the year First Quench warned some of its stores would close if it was unable to renegotiate rents with landlords.



A turnaround plan was put in place, including cost savings, the closure of loss-making stores and cutting of stock.



First Quench is already said to have warned over its ability to continue as a going concern after the business was hit by declining demand and the withdrawal of credit insurance.



Its Threshers chain was founded 112 years ago by Samuel Thresher. It was bought by Flowers Breweries in the 1950s and became part of Whitbread - now owner of Premier Inn and Costa Coffee - in 1962.



Whitbread merged the off-licence chain with Allied Domecq's Victoria Wine in 1998 to create First Quench, which was bought by private equity firm Principal Finance Group for £225 million in 2000.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat