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Oddbins set to close 39 stores

Wednesday March 9th 2011

Oddbins has revealed that 39 of its stores will close as the loss-making business looks to secure its future.

The wine merchant decided to reduce its stores from 128 to 89 following a review by a restructuring specialist hired to help the company cope with cashflow problems.

A statement from the off-licence said: "Due to the tough economic climate, the business is being restructured, with the result that 39 branches across the United Kingdom will be closed over the coming weeks. The staff have been informed."

This move is only the latest blow in a tough period for Britain's independent wine trade, which has already seen the Unwins chain collapse in 2005 and Threshers owner First Quench Retailing fold in 2009.

Strong competition from dominant supermarket chains and reduced consumer confidence have put Oddbins under increasing pressure.

The wine merchant is also involved in an ongoing legal dispute with its previous owner, French drinks group Castel Freres.

The wine merchant brought in Reading-based Spectrum Corporate Finance to complete a strategic review of the business and it is expected to deliver the findings this week. It is understood Spectrum will also advise on finding an outside investor for Oddbins.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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