Online Thresher still not on horizon

There’s still no sign of a new online business under the Threshers name a year after the company that bought the brand declared a six-week target for setting it up.

SEP Properties bought the Threshers brand, along with the Bottoms Up, The Local and Victoria Wine trademarks in January 2010 from First Quench administrator KPMG, just weeks after the national off-licence group went bust.

It also bought 23 stores, which it intended to trade under the Bottoms Up name, along with its four existing Dave’s Discount stores in the West Midlands, where it is based.

It’s not clear how far SEP has got in developing its stores. No one from SEP Properties was available for comment this week.

But documents just filed at Companies House state that the principal activity of SEP remains “property rental” and make only a brief reference to the former First Quench brands.

The report of the directors states that “these trade names add significant value to the investment portfolio and give the company the opportunity to derive future income from their use”.

SEP saw rental income increase by 3% in the year to March 31, according to the just-filed accounts, with pre-tax profit increasing from £1.4 million to £1.9 million.

The only significant business move involving the ex-First Quench names seems to have been a deal to licence the Threshers name to global travel location food and drink retailer Select Service Partners, to allow it to continue an agreement it had with First Quench to use the name on a number of stores in railways stations.

Heather Cooper, Select Service Partners’ head of marketing development, said her company had no plans to expand the Threshers chain it has operated since the First Quench collapse.

It has stores at London’s Euston, Victoria and Waterloo mainland stations, plus Glasgow Central and Manchester Piccadilly.

“Threshers is a recognisable brand for consumers shopping in a hurry in a fast-moving location like a railway station, which is why it was a good move for us to keep it,” she said.

“Having more shops in stations is not something we’re focused on for the time being.”?Select Service Partners operates franchise stores in airports and stations under names such as M&S Simply Food and Burger King and is the owner of Café Ritazza and Upper Crust.