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First Quench to shut stores, seeking buyers

The administrators of First Quench Retailing are to shut 373 stores, resulting in 1,738 redundancies.

Depending on stock levels, 247 of the affected loss-making stores will remain open until 25 November.

The remaining 126 will trade until 2nd December 2009. Full details of the stores to be closed are on www.threshergroup.com

First Quench, owners of Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local and Haddows stores, went into administration at the end of October.

The Administrators KPMG said in a statement, ‘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 Friday 6 November.

‘The remaining stores will continue to be traded as usual while we seek a buyer.’

Emma Murray, PR Manager for KPMG confirmed that several companies are considering purchasing First Quench.

‘There has been considerable interest from a range of buyers, individual investors and private equity firms. We are confident of securing a sale in the coming weeks’, she told decanter.com.

Potential buyers are understood to include European Food Brokers, Oddbins, and value chain Bargain Booze.

According to the magazine Retail Week, Oddbins has expressed an interest in First Quench.

Managing director Simon Baile told the Mail on Sunday, ‘If the right opportunity came along then of course we would have a look at making a bid.’

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Written by James Lawrence

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