In a statement this morning, administrators KPMG said: "No stores have been closed immediately and there have been no redundancies of store staff but 81 redundancies have been made at head office.
“Unfortunately it is likely that some store closures and further redundancies will be made. Once the administrators have assessed the viability of each store, a further communication will be announced.
“The joint administrators are trading the company while actively seeking a buyer for the business as a going concern. Eighty six of the stores are franchises and, as they operate as separate businesses owned by their own management teams, do not fall within the remit of the administration. The administrators will continue to support the supply needs of the franchisees as far as possible while the business is traded."
Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG, added: “Trading in the off-licence sector has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with the recession proving too much of an additional burden in this case. The business has a comprehensive geographic footprint, however, and we believe this presents a compelling opportunity to other retailers who may wish to extend their reach. We will continue to trade the remaining business while we seek a buyer.”
The administrators have also set up a general query helpline number and email address: 0844 576 8862 / firstname.lastname@example.org.