Oddbins on brink of collapse for second time

Oddbins has appointed an advisory firm to look at options for the future, following a difficult Christmas trading period.

European Food Brokers Group, which owns the off-licence chain, has warned staff of job losses in the future. The company also owns Wine Cellar Trading and Whittalls Wine Merchants, and the group employs more than 500 members of staff at more than 100 off-licences.

Advisory firm Duff & Phelps, which specialises in administration, is reported to have been appointed.

Oddbins started life in 1963 and it went into administration in 2011. EFB rescued the company, which has 45 stores, buy buying the business and taking it out of administration.

A spokesperson for EFB said: “We have filed a notice of intention to appoint Duff & Phelps as administrators for Wine Cellar Trading Limited, Whittalls Wine Merchant Limited, and EFB Retail Limited.

“The deterioration of the high street, combined with the continuing economic uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, has resulted in an unsustainable, tough, physical retail market.

“We will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while options are assessed for the business, including a possible sale. All businesses continue to trade until further notice.

“European Food Brokers Limited and its additional businesses continue to trade and are not part of this announcement.”

Whittalls Wine Merchants 1 Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EFB Retail Limited, trades as Oddbins in England, with the smaller Whittalls Wine Merchants 2 Limited trading as Oddbins in Scotland.

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