Threat to 550 jobs as Oddbins calls in administrators

Oddbins has gone into administration, putting 550 jobs at risk if a buyer cannot be found.

It is the second time that the business, which operates 101 off-licences and two convenience stores under a variety of brands, has collapsed in eight years.

Administrators at Duff & Phelps said weaker consumer confidence had put pressure on retail businesses in recent years.

Joint administrator Phil Duffy 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.”

Buyers for Oddbins will now be sought, with all stores continuing to operate in the meantime.

The companies which have gone into administration trade under a number of names including Oddbins, Oddies, Simply Drinks, Simply Food & Drinks, Shop2Go and Booze Buster.

European Food Brokers, a West Midlands-based company owned by entrepreneur Raj Chatha and his family, has owned Oddbins since its previous administration in 2011.

Oddbins is the latest in a string of retailers to collapse, following the recent failures of Patisserie Valerie and HMV. Both are now seeking new owners.