2,000 more jobs lost at First Quench

NEARLY 2,000 more jobs will be lost after administrators for ailing drinks firm First Quench Retailing announced another round of redundancies.

A further 381 stores – including Wine Rack in Welwyn High Street – will close, resulting in 1,908 posts going. The Local in Cole Green Lane, WGC, has avoided the latest cull.

A further 35 people at First Quench’s headquarters in Bessemer Road, WGC, have today (Friday) been made redundant.

Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring for administrators KPMG, said: “We are now in advanced talks regarding the sale of the business with a number of interested parties and have ascertained that parts of the portfolio, consisting of just over 500 stores, are of interest to these potential purchasers.

“These stores will continue to trade while we progress with our negotiations.

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“Unfortunately there has not been sufficient interest in these 381 stores as part of the going concern sale, so we have no option but to close them.

“However, we have had an enormous amount of interest in these sites from over 700 small local businesses and private individuals.”

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Depending on stock levels, the 381 stores across brands Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine, are due to close by December 16.

Stock liquidation sales will start next week.

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