Another 2,140 redundancies at First Quench

ADMINSTRATORS acting for ailing WGC-based drinks firm First Quench Retailing have today (Friday) announced another raft of store closures.

Another 391 shops are set to shut, with the loss of 2,140 jobs.

The latest axe list includes The Local in Cole Green Lane, WGC, where nine people work.

All stores are due to close by December 20, depending on stock levels. Liquidation sales will start on Tuesday.

Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring for joint adminstrators KPMG, said: “Unfortunately, despite the initial high level of interest, it remains difficult for buyers to complete deals in the current tough market.

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“However, we are still in talks regarding the sale of over 100 stores and hope to be able to make a further announcement about this shortly.

“We also remain hopeful some of the 391 stores announced today might still be sold as going concerns before the closure process is completed, but with stock now running low in the remaining stores it has been necessary to make plans to close them.”

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First Quench, based in Bessemer Road, WGC, owns the Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine brands.

It was announced on November 5 that 126 stores would shut, with a further 381 axed last Thursday.

A total of 116 staff, out of an original workforce of 208 at head office, have also been made redundant since adminstrators were called in last month.

* KPMG also announced today two sales of parts of the business: the sale of 13 stores and the Wine Rack brand to Venus Wine & Spirits Merchants. and the sale of eight stores to SEP Properties.

And marketing agents Christie & Co have revealed around 500 offers for individual units or small groups of stores have been received since last week.

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