Off-licence to close soon

PUBLISHED: 15:34 27 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:23 10 June 2010

THRESHERS off-licence in Exeter Road will shut before Christmas as part of the latest round of closures to hit the troubled drinks retailer.

THRESHERS off-licence in Exeter Road will shut before Christmas as part of the latest round of closures to hit the troubled drinks retailer.

The store will close its doors for the final time on December 16 as part of 381 closures around the country after owners First Quench went into administration in October.

The closures are additional to the 373 announced at the beginning of the month.

But the franchised High Street stores in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton will not close and will probably trade under a different banner.

Two weeks ago staff were hopeful that the Exeter Road store would be sold off to a rival firm and their jobs saved.

But joint administrator Richard Fleming, Head of Restructuring at KPMG, said: "We are now in advanced talks regarding the sale of the business with a number of interested parties and have ascertained that parts of the portfolio, consisting of just over 500 stores, are of interest to these potential purchasers.

"These stores will continue to trade while we progress with our negotiations.

"Unfortunately, there has not been sufficient interest in these 381 stores as part of the going concern sale, so we have no option but to close them."

Tony Evans, Head of Retail at Exeter-based Christie + Co, said: "We...have been appointed to help assist (administrators) KPMG in the sale of the remaining First Quench stores, which we intend to offer individually or in small groups.

"KPMG has already received well over 700 expressions of interest in groups of less than 50 stores, which is a positive sign that we will be able to complete a large number of sales."

Staff at Exeter Road Threshers declined to comment.

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