The Thresher Group is one of the few independent off-licence chains left in Britain now that the French firm Castel has acquired its rivals Oddbins and Unwins. But with competitive pressure in the sector building, Thresher’s chief executive Roger Whiteside has been forced to make some changes to its businesses, which include Victoria Wine, Bottoms Up, Haddows and Drinks Cabin. He says that we will see more of the distinctive red Thresher signs, and the company’s Wine Rack brand will be redeveloped as an upmarket retailer selling bottles that cost £7 or more. Sales dropped £120m to £802m in 2004, when the group made an operating loss of £11m.
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