Threshers stores fail to reopen

Image caption,
Threshers was hit by the downturn and supermarket competition

Fewer than a third of the 1,400 stores belonging to drink chain Threshers have reopened as off-licences a year after the firm went into administration.

Administrators KPMG say only 400 of the stores have been sold, with the majority being bought by small off-licence chains.

The other 1,000 have been returned to landlords, say the administrators.

Off-licence chains have been hit by competition from supermarkets, which benefit from their purchasing power.

First Quench Retailing (FQR), which owned Threshers, Wine Rack, Victoria Wine, Bottoms Up and Haddows, went into administration and 6,300 jobs were lost.

The group, formed in 1998 from a Whitbread & Allied Domecq deal, had also been hit by the recession.

The Threshers, Bottoms Up, The Local and Victoria Wine brands were bought by West Midlands-based small property and discount stores business SEP Properties.

The Wine Rack name was bought by London-based Venus Wine and Spirits.

Unsecured creditors of First Quench still owed money are expected to get 1.4p in the pound back.

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