Off-licence administrator begins to slash workforce

THE administrators of the collapsed company behind the Threshers and Wine Rack off-licence chains are to shut hundreds of shops and cut more than 1,700 jobs, it emerged yesterday.<br /><br />KPMG said 373 stores owned by First Quench Retailing will close, leading to more than 1,738 redundancies. <br /><br />First Quench Retailing, which went into administration last week, runs about 1,200 stores in Scotland, England and Wales and employs 6,300 people. The retailer failed to cope with cut-price competition from supermarkets and falling trade caused by the recession, KPMG?said.<br /><br />KPMG&rsquo;s UK head of restructuring at and joint administrator, Richard Fleming, said 247 of the stores will continue to trade until 25 November and 126 until 2 December. He added the administrators are confident of securing a sale for the remaining stores &ldquo;in the coming weeks&rdquo;.<br /><br />Calls had come from distributors and wholesalers as well as established retailers, Fleming said.