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Oddbins slides into administration blaming Brexit and risking hundreds of jobs

Published:  04 February, 2019

Oddbins has gone into administration, putting 550 jobs in jeopardy.

Duff & Phelps has been appointed as administrator for the retail operation, which consists of 45 Oddbins stores trading under a number of fascias including Oddbins, Oddies, Simply Drinks, Simply Food & Drinks, Shop2Go and Booze Buster, plus 56 Wine Cellar Trading and Whittalls Wine Merchants stores.

Duff & Phelps hopes to find a buyer for the chain, which will continue to trade in the meantime.

Oddbins' owner European Food Brokers, which has not entered administration, blamed tough trading conditions on the High Street and the overall economic uncertainty created by Brexit for Oddbin’s collapse.

A statement from Duff & Phelps said the “continued decline in consumer spending, pointing to a squeeze on household finances, combined with rising living and national wages have put increased pressure on retailers’ bottom lines.

“As wages struggle to keep up with the pace of inflation and continued, deepening unease and uncertainty over Brexit, means consumers are cutting back on spending.

“Add into that mix rising business rates and rents and traditional bricks and mortar, retailers are undoubtedly feeling the strain.”

Last week The Guardian reported seeing an email from EFB to staff which said directors had decided its retail businesses “cannot continue in their current form”.

Oddbins previously went into administration in 2011. Several stores were then bought by EFB, which is based in the West Midlands and run by businessman Raj Chatha.

The chain, which opened for business in 1963, reportedly made a net loss of more than £4m in the 18 months to the end of July 2018.