Threshers owner First Quench Retail is to close hundreds of stores, including a number of its The Local branded convenience stores, as it seeks to cut costs.

The company is in talks with landlords of loss-making stores with a view to ending or renegotiating leases. It is thought that up to 400 stores could be axed.

A spokeswoman confirmed the cull. “We are in a negotiation period with the landlords of unprofitable stores. The number of stores that could close is dependent upon our capacity to reach suitable agreements with these landlords,” she said.

The company has remodelled 276 Wine Rack ‘true blue’ stores since March 2008 and converted a further 23 Threshers stores to The Local brand.