The Thresher off-licence group claims that 30m people live within a 10-minute walk of its 2,100 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 revived its fortunes, closing 200 underperforming stores, cutting overheads, launching its own wine brand and joining the new Nectar loyalty card scheme. All this led to sales of £1,055m in 2002, when it had 15,133 staff.
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