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Oddbins boss asks for patience

Published:  19 February, 2009

Oddbins managing director Simon Baile has urged customers to "keep the faith" as the business attempts to revitalise its wine range.

Baile has been stung by criticism that the Oddbins range is poor and branches are low on stock.

He took the unusual step of answering the company's critics on the UK Wine Forum, where there had been a flurry of negative comments including claims that the Oddbins offer was now "rubbish".

Baile admitted that the Oddbins range is "not what I want at the moment" and added: "This is why we are doing a clear-out and this is why we are sourcing loads of new wines and Champagnes.

"We do have areas of weakness, notably the Loire, Italy, the Rhone. However, Richard [Verney], the other buyers and I have been working really hard in finding new wines to introduce. However, such a large root and branch change to a range does take time to implement and there is no one less patient for change than myself."

Baile said Oddbins had introduced some quality wines in recent months. He added: "I come from an independent wine merchant background and it is my intention to bring into Oddbins all the skills and qualities of an independent merchant."

He signed off with a plea for critics to "not write us off yet, we are on the way back".