Oddbins today became one of the first high street casualties of 2019, as news emerged that the off licence’s owners have fallen into administration for the second time in eight years.
Administrators Duff & Phelps confirmed that the companies behind Oddbins and a string of high street alcohol stores are now insolvent.
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The stores – Oddbins, Oddies, Simply Drinks, Simply Food & Drinks, Shop2Go and Booze Buster – will continue to trade as a going concern while Duff & Phelps seek a buyer.
Philip Duffy and Matthew Ingram, the administrators, will conduct a financial review of the stores until a buyer for the business and assets is found.
A statement from the administrators appeared to blame challenging high street trading conditions, Brexit uncertainty and rising inflation for Oddbins’ struggles.
“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,” Duffy said.
“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.”
Oddbins last went into administration in 2011, and the business has already warned staff of job losses, according to the Guardian.
The chain’s current workforce numbers around 550 people across 45 stores.
Read more: January retail sales fall to new low
Parent company European Food Brokers (EFB) has not entered administration, but subsidiaries Wine Cellar Trading, Whittalls Wines Merchants 1, Whittalls Wines Merchants 2 and EFB Retail Limited all have.
EFB snapped up Oddbins’ assets after its last insolvency. It reported a £500,000 loss for the year ending 31 January 2017, with a £3m drop in revenue.