The Oddbins off-licence chain has officially gone into administration, putting around 500 jobs at risk.

The chain’s owner, European Food Brokers (EFB), said Brexit and the resulting economic uncertainty, along with poor high street sales over the Christmas period, were to blame for the situation. EFB’s other brands – Whittalls Wines Merchants and Wine Cellar Trading – are also affected.

Duff & Phelps is the administrator that has been called in to keep the business running while a buyer is sought out.

Philip Duffy, joint administrator, said rising business rates and rents were having an effect on the high street, alongside the fact that consumers are tightening their purse strings as Brexit looms.

He added: “Traditional bricks and mortar retailers are undoubtedly feeling the strain.”

Around 500 jobs are now at risk, across the three drinks retailer chains.

Just last month M&O Trading, the owner of Hartley’s and Mulberrys off-licence chains in the southeast of England fell into liquidation, while in the same month online retailer Wine Direct also went into administration.

However, although many high street retailers struggled over the festive season, overall off-trade BWS sales enjoyed strong growth throughout 2018 and grew 3.8% over Christmas (Nielsen).