After 162 years, troubled off-licence chain Unwins has closed its doors after administrators moved to shut all of its 350 stores.

Its administrators, who were appointed earlier this week, closed the business yesterday, admitting that the company was making “excessive losses and had no stock to continue to trade”.

More than 1,400 staff were made redundant, with only 20 kept on to assist administrators.

Last week, a further 400 staff were made redundant when Unwins closed 95 of its stores.

Myles Halley, joint administrator said: “I appreciate it is a particularly difficult time to announce such news but we have no alternative but to cease trading and make these redundancies.”

“Unwins has suffered like other off licence chains from increased competition from supermarkets and tight margins. The directors have tried unsuccessfully to restructure or sell the business and it is evident that this company is making excessive losses,” Halley added.

Meanwhile, Unwins’ owner DM Private Equity, which bought the chain in March for £32m, has revealed that it plans to sue the former owners, auditors and all 84 previous shareholders of the business. It claims that Unwins turned out to be worth £13.2m less than the vendors had said it was.

In a statement DM Private Equity said that it intended to start legal action “to seek full restitution and damages resulting from its acquisition of the Unwins Wine Group Limited and its subsidiaries”.