Some franchisees of troubled off-licence chain Threshers have revealed that they are not receiving stock.
According to The Independent one franchisee said that some stores are receiving “on average only about 55 to 60 per cent” of products ordered over the past two months. Some of the out-of-stock problems relate to the reduction of credit insurance to suppliers.
Earlier this month, parent company First Quench Group - which runs 1,400 Threshers, The Local and Wine Rack fascias – issued a “going concern” warning on Companies House outlining a “material uncertainty” casting doubt on its ability to continue trading in its current form.
In the period from May 16 2007 to June 28 2008 pre-tax losses at the group were £30m.
One franchisee told The Independent: “Far and away the most serious issue is that of stocks. Inquiries about missing products are ignored. We are just told that it is ‘out of stock’ in the warehouse.”
Private equity-owned First Quench last month served notice to end its five-year distribution contract with Norbert Dentressangle.
A First Quench spokeswoman said that credit insurance was “a major issue impacting retailers across the country” but that it had the support of its largest suppliers.
First Quench has 83 franchisees and 95 franchised stores.