Threshers fails in sell-off as creditors left high and dry

FEWER than a third of Threshers stores have reopened as off-licences after the chain folded last year, administrators revealed yesterday.

Only 400 of the firm’s 1,400 stores were sold, with most being bought by small off-licence chains, said accountancy firm KPMG which is still working on the administration.

The other 1,000 were returned to landlords.

Off-licences have been weakened by competition from supermarkets who, because of their buying power, can afford to cut alcohol prices.

First Quench Retailing, which owned the Threshers, Wine Rack, Victoria Wine, Bottoms Up and Haddows fascia, went into administration with the loss of 6,300 jobs.

Diageo, one of the creditors, lost a total of £41m when it collapsed.

Some of First Quench’s brand names will trade on.

The Threshers, Bottoms Up, The Local and Victoria Wine brands were sold to a small property and discount stores business, SEP Properties, in the West Midlands.
While The Wine Rack name was bought by London-based Venus Wine and Spirits and its shops still trade on high streets in the South East.