Deathwatch: Threshers’ owner in administration

30 October 2009

retaildeathwatch Bad news if you’re an employee of First Quench, owners of Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack and Haddows – your company has gone into administration. However, for many alcohol users, the cry will probably be: “Oh, are they still going then?”

Yes they are – for now at least. Administrators KPMG say they’ll aim to save “as many jobs as possible” by selling the business as a going concern, but that’s generally what administrators say… at first.

With 1,300 stores and 6,500 employees, there could be some teary farewells said over the next weeks if KPMG are unable to flog a business that has struggled in the face of competition from supermarkets and the nagging effects of the recession.

threshers-415x275While it’s never pleasant to see people lose their jobs, from our point of view, would any of the stores be missed if they disappeared? Even the 40% off vouchers that circulated around the net like wildfire a few years ago soon lost their lustre when we all realised that most of the stuff was way overpriced to start with.

Bitterwallet readers, tell us we’re wrong. Convince us that the world needs Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack and Haddows. Tell us why – because we love a drop or two of booze and we’re utterly stumped.

UPDATE: Earlier today, KPMG confirmed that there will be 86 redundancies at First Quench's head office. They added that it is likely that some shops will close and further redundancies made.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Reg W.
    No real surprise Tesco, Asda etc. prices are much cheaper.
  • The B.
    Wow, who'd have seen that coming? At one point they had a Wine Rack and Threshers within 50 yards of each other on my (small) High Street, anyone who thinks that's a canny proposition isn't too clever. Add to that being undercut by pretty much everyone from supermarkets to local offies you're onto a disaster, the thing is that they weren't even too sure what market they were catering to, Oddbins give good advice and do nice quality moderate to expensive wines/beers/spirits and have a niche that no one can touch, Tesco's etc, rack em high sell 'em cheap, Threshers, had a sporadic selection of average wines and beers that no one really wants and sell them at a large markup.
  • John
    They cannot compete with the supermarkets or larger stores. They have one off lower prices but all-in-all they are more expensive.
  • Codify
    Haddows/Threshers were vital to 15 year old chavs hanging around out street corners, who can't get served in supermarkets. Their stores tended to be carefully located in sink estates to capitalize on the misery and hopelessness of the local population.
  • pete
    They have been planning this for years they have sold near enough every free hold property and leased it back, where has the money gone from that ? they spent millions on refurbishing wine racks but have left the threshers & locals to rot they have closed down hundreds of threshers and locals due to poor performance but purely down to poor management they have reduced the contractual hours of part time staff this year to the bare minimum to avoid high redundancy costs and wages now they have changed the business name to FQR and split the business up so wine rack can be sold as a profitable business whilst the local and thresher brand go under and take all the debts with it i am sorry but this company has slowly has been fleeced of it's assets for years

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