Franchisees of Threshers, the off-licence chain owned by First Quench Retailing, have claimed that the lack of supply continues to hamper their businesses.

One franchisee who contacted Retail Week said all franchisees have been forced to buy goods elsewhere “for several months now” and because goods can cost more from a cash and carry, they are struggling.

However, First Quench said it established a franchisee council in July this year comprising representatives from its franchisee group and the company to “help resolve issues raised by the franchisees”.

A First Quench spokesman said that “the council meets regularly and we have already addressed most of the issues” and “have made good progress on the rest”.

One issue – the 86p delivery charge on a case of six bottles of wine – which one franchisee said was “exceptionally high”, has been temporarily resolved. First Quench has frozen the delivery charge until January next year.

First Quench had its credit insurance reduced at the beginning of the year, causing supply problems. But it said it has since embarked on a business transformation programme and is addressing all issues.