First Quench administrators to close 373 stores

06 November, 2009

More than 1,700 jobs are to go with the closure of 373 loss-making shops at First Quench, the firm's administrators KPMG have announced.

Administrator Richard Fleming, of KPMG, said: “Unfortunately, after reviewing the viability of the store network, 373 loss-making stores are to be closed. Depending on stock levels, 247 of the stores will continue to trade until November 25, with 126 trading until December 2.”

This is the second round of cuts at the group after KPMG axed 81 jobs at the Welwyn Garden City head office last month.

Administrators said 1,738 jobs would go in the latest round of redundancies.

Fleming said: “As part of the closure programme, liquidation sales will take place at each of the stores scheduled to be closed with the stock being sold off at a discount from today.”

Details of the stores to be closed, which will be conducting stock liquidation sales, will be posted on the company’s website at from noon today (November 6).

He said: “The remaining stores will continue to be traded as usual while we seek a buyer.

“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 across Scotland, England and Wales and employs about 6,300 people.

Richard Fleming, Mick McLoughlin and Ian Corfield of KPMG were appointed joint administrators to First Quench on October 29.

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