UK: First Quench goes into administration

02 November, 2009

UK off-licence chain First Quench has entered into administration.

Richard Fleming, Mick McLoughlin and Ian Corfield of KPMG have been appointed joint administrators to First Quench Retailing. The company operates 1,202 Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Haddows branded stores across Scotland, England and Wales and employs 6,283 people.

No stores have been closed immediately on appointment and there have been no redundancies of store staff but 81 redundancies have been made at head office, based in Welwyn Garden City.  Unfortunately it is likely that some store closures and further redundancies will be made.  Once the administrators have assessed the viability of each store, a further communication will be announced.  The joint administrators are trading the company while actively seeking a buyer for the business as a going concern.

86 of the stores are franchises and, as they operate as separate businesses owned by their own management teams, do not fall within the remit of the administration.  The administrators will continue to support the supply needs of the franchisees as far as possible while the business is traded.

Richard Fleming, UK Head of Restructuring at KPMG, commented:

“Trading in the off licence sector has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with the recession proving too much of an additional burden in this case.  The business has a comprehensive geographic footprint, however, and we believe this presents a compelling opportunity to other retailers who may wish to extend their reach.  We will continue to trade the remaining business while we seek a buyer.”

Interested parties should contact Michael Maccallum or Louise Ingham at KPMG on either 020 7311 8582 or 020 7694 3459.

The administrators have also set up a general query helpline number and email address:

0844 576 8862 / <> .     

More detailed information for stakeholders, such as landlords, employees and creditors, is available at <>


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