Oddbins sells northern stores back to Wine Cellar

01 June, 2007

Oddbins has sold two of its shops back to Wine Cellar, just two years after buying them from the Runcorn-based chain.

The stores - in Cockermouth, Cumbria, and Hexham, Northumbria - were among the 45 Wine Cellar branches sold to Oddbins for £847,000 in 2005.

The Cockermouth store will be rebranded as Simply Drinks and the Hexham store as Simply Food & Drinks.

Wine Cellar general trading manager Steve Parker said: "Oddbins had been marketing six or seven stores and these two fitted what we were looking for. We had the stores before so we knew they had the potential to do what we wanted."

There are now 184 stores in Wine Cellar's estate, which also includes the Booze Buster fascia.

Parker said the company was aiming for "controlled growth" but added: "If the right opportunity came along for us to buy a chain of stores we would certainly look at it."




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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