Thursday 29 October 2009

First quenched

It takes a special kind of genius to file for bankruptcy when the overall business sector in which you operate is seeing increased sales, but that is what First Quench, owners of Threshers and other various off-licences, have achieved. This came on the day when it was reported that off-trade beer sales had grown by 4.4%. They have experienced the fate of many mid-market operators in other sectors – caught between the supermarkets, the hard discounters, the specialists and the convenience of the local corner store. Maybe it’s not a good idea to give alcohol licences to newsagents, but that is the reality of the market in which First Quench had to operate and they never really came to terms with it. Their stores were always about the most expensive for any product on offer, and someone else always had a wider range of everything they sold, so there was never a compelling reason for anyone to shop there. I suspect this will mark the beginning of the end for the old-fashioned off-licence.

You may also like to answer the poll on the left about where you buy alcohol in the off-trade - remember that you can choose more than one option.

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