Threshers owner First Quench is on the brink of going into administration, Retail Week has learned.

The retailer, which has appointed KPMG in recent weeks, has been trying to find alternatives to save the struggling business. These include a possible sale of the business.

It is thought that non-executive director John Cleland is waiting in the wings to scoop up the scaled down business. Formerly at Somerfield, he was parachuted in recently by the beleagued off licence group. Threshers has more than 1,000 stores.

A spokeswoman for First Quench said: “The board of FQR notes recent media speculation about the future of the company. It is no secret that the credit crunch has made a very competitive marketplace even more challenging. The board, in consultation with its advisers, has been actively considering a number of restructuring and strategic options for FQR and any decision will be made in the best interests of the business and its stakeholders.”

KPMG declined to comment.

It is understood the situation will come to a head in the next few days but it is believed the retailer has until Monday to find an alternative solution.

The retailer may consider a pre-pack or a Company Voluntary Arrangement, a solvent restructuring that Focus DIY and JJB Sports have used successfully this year.

First Quench employs 6,500 people, most of them part-time workers.

The retailer has suffered from a string of senior executives leaving the business in recent months, as well as severe supply chain problems that has affected stock levels.