The administrators are now seeking to sell the business as a going concern and are continuing to trade all stores, though 81 redundancies were made at the head office in Welwyn Garden City.
First Quench operates 1,202 Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine and Haddows branded stores across Scotland, England and Wales and employs 6,283 people.
The group said it was unable to warn staff before news leaked of KPMG's appointment. First Quench said in a statement: "It is with great regret that the board was not able to brief our colleagues prior to it being made public in the media.
"This was always our intention but, unfortunately, the news leaked. There is a full programme of communication which will commence from Friday morning to our colleagues."
“Trading in the off licence sector has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with the recession proving too much of an additional burden in this case. The business has a comprehensive geographic footprint, however, and we believe this presents a compelling opportunity to other retailers who may wish to extend their reach. We will continue to trade the remaining business while we seek a buyer.”
At the beginning of the year First Quench warned some of its stores would close if it was unable to renegotiate rents with landlords.
Interested parties should contact Michael Maccallum or Louise Ingham at KPMG on either 020 7311 8582 or 020 7694 3459.