UK: First Quench store closures confirmed
The administrators handling collapsed drinks retailer First Quench have confirmed the closure of 373 stores, resulting in 1,738 redundancies.
KPMG said earlier this afternoon (5 November) that liquidation sales will take place at each of the 373 of the company's stores, which include Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine. Stock being held in the stores will be sold off at a discount from tomorrow.
"After reviewing the viability of the store network, 373 loss-making stores are to be closed," said Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG. "Depending on stock levels, 247 of the stores will continue to trade until 25 November, with 126 trading until 2 December."
Details of the stores to be closed will be available on the company's website from noon tomorrow.
"The remaining stores will continue to be traded as usual while we seek a buyer," Fleming continued. "So far, we have received considerable interest in the business from a range of buyers, including trade, individual investors and private equity. The remaining stores are trading well and we believe they present an attractive investment. We are confident of securing a sale in the coming weeks."
First Quench operates around 1,200 Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Haddows branded stores, employing around 6,300 people.
The most up-to-date First Quench accounts, obtained by just-drinks, show that the business has been struggling for more than a year in a tough UK off-licence sector.
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