Off licences under threat after First Quench goes into administration

DOZENS of staff working at off-licences Wine Rack, Thresher and Victoria Wine in Comet country will have to wait until next week to find out whether their jobs are safe. The company that owns these off-licences, First Quench based in Welwyn Garden Cit

DOZENS of staff working at off-licences Wine Rack, Thresher and Victoria Wine in Comet country will have to wait until next week to find out whether their jobs are safe.

The company that owns these off-licences, First Quench based in Welwyn Garden City, went into administration last week with the loss of 81 jobs out of a staff of 256.

Administrators KPMG said at the moment it had not closed any of the First Quench's 1,202 stores and was waiting while talks continue to find a possible buyer for the business.

There are two Wine Rack off-licences - one in Hermitage Road, Hitchin and on the Station Forecourt in Letchworth GC - two Threshers in Market Place, Hitchin and Bedwell Crescent, Stevenage and a Victoria Wine in The Hyde, Shephall, Stevenage.


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All managers have been told not to talk to the media but one who wished to remain anonymous said: "We have just got to get on with things. It has come as a big shock to everyone but there is nothing we can do now but sit back and wait."

A spokesman for KPMG said: "No decisions will be made regarding shop closures this week while talks continue to find a buyer for the First Quench operation.

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"We expect things will be clearer next week when we will be in a position to make an announcement.

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