UK: 2,140 redundancies at First Quench
Published:  27 November, 2009

The joint administrators of First Quench, which trades as Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine, have announced the closure of a further 391 stores, resulting in 2,140 redundancies.

These stores are due to close by December 20 at the latest, depending on stock levels.

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

“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 that 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.”

The administrators have today announced 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.

In addition to the going concern sales, Christie & Co, which is marketing the stores not sold as part of the sale of business, has already received around 500 offers for individual units or small groups of stores since they launched the piecemeal disposal process last Friday.

A full list of stores which are closing can be found at <>  and liquidation sales at the 391 stores included in the latest phase of closures will start on Tuesday December 1.  Liquidation sales are continuing within the remaining 126 stores announced as closing on November 5 and 381 stores announced as closing on November 20.  247 stores have now closed.