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Thresher Group claims that more than half of Britain’s population lives within 10 minutes’ walk from one of its stores, which include Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Wine Rack. The Hertfordshire chain was formed in 2000 after Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, bought it for £225m. Thresher has since closed 200 underperforming stores, cut overheads, and launched its own wine brand called Origins. Sales totalled £926m in 2003, although operating profits plunged by £29m to £4m. The company recently hired Roger Whiteside, who co-founded the Ocado online grocery service, as its new chief executive.

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Company details
CompanyFirst Quench Retailing
ActivityOff-licence operator
Sales £m926
Profit £m4
Year endMar 03
Principal shareholdersTerra Firma (100%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated