TWELVE months after First Quench, the parent company behind the Threshers chain went into administration, fewer than a third of 1,400 stores have sold been off and still operate as off-licences.
More than 1,000 of the outlets – which include The Local, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Haddows shops – remain unsold, reflecting the tough conditions facing off-licence operators in the UK.
Richard Fleming, the UK head of restructuring at KPMG, the firm which handled the First Quench administration, told the Telegraph:
“The outcome for the First Quench store portfolio holds a magnifying glass to the state of the British high street: only a third of the stores are now trading as off-licences.
Moreover, the stores are being operated by individual businesses or in small clusters of regional businesses, showing how the standalone off-licence trade model is in decline as a big national business.”
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