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More closures for First Quench

Published:  20 November, 2009

First Quench administrator KPMG has announced that a further 381 stores are to close.

The closures will result in 1,908 redundancies at branch level and 34 at head office. The remaining estate is now just over 500 stores - a far cry from the 3,000 originally operated by First Quench.

Richard Fleming, joint administrator 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.

"However, we have had an enormous amount of interest in these sites from over 700 small local businesses and private individuals. Christie & Co is assisting us in assigning the leases of the remaining stores to interested buyers."

Depending on stock levels, the 381 stores are due to close by December 16 and will be holding stock liquidation sales from November 24. 

On November 5 KPMG announced that 373 loss-making stores were to close following the administrators' initial review of the business.