Off-license retail chain Thresher Group is understood to be seeking an advertising and media planning and buying agency. The move follows the closure of Thresher’s Leeds-based integrated agency Poulters.
It is thought that the pitches will be handled by the intermediary the AAR.
Last summer, the UK’s largest off-license chain was bought by a consortium led by private investor Edmund Truell from private equity firm Terra Firma. Truell subsequently sold a 75% interest to private equity group Vision Capital. This was the third change of ownership for the Group since it was formed in 1998 under the First Quench name following the merger of Allied Domecq’s and Whitbread’s off-license businesses.
Thresher Group sells beer, wine and spirits through more than 2,000 shops throughout the UK. The company operates stores under various brands including Thresher’s, Wine Rack, Victoria Wine, Bottoms Up, The Local, and (in Scotland) Haddows. Through its subsidiaries, Thresher Group also offers its own proprietary wines.
The UK off-licence sector has faced some tough competition from the supermarkets, which have been heavily discounting wine bottles, and therefore accused of slowing the growth of the overall wine market. Thresher has tried various routes to find a solution to these threats such as experimenting with a Thresher’s Food convenience format, which was abandoned following disappointing results.
Poulters was closed down by parent company Bezier as part of a restructure (MW.co.uk June 5). It is understood that 42 people may be made redundant.