The UK's largest specialist off-licence retailer
Thresher was the largest specialist off-licence (alcohol) retailer in the UK with approximately 2,500 stores selling wine, beer and spirits.
The business had a strong asset backing, with the property portfolio representing approximately £130m of value.
Thresher offered the opportunity for an operational turnaround through cost reduction, improved procurement and merchandising and a more sophisticated pricing strategy, as well as a rationalisation of the property portfolio.
A comprehensive operational turnaround was implemented, including an improved pricing structure, systematic store and manager performance monitoring and the renegotiation of new supply agreements.
Following successful pilots, three new trading strategies were implemented in appropriate store segments. A rebranding excerise was also undertaken with a different brand for the high-, mid- and low-price convenience markets. The estate was segmented – according to customer type, purchase occasion, location and size – and rationalised, with around 275 unprofitable, low-potential shops closed or sold over a three-year period.
The Thresher Group investment has been fully realised. The business was sold to a financial buyer in June 2007.