Wine Cellar, the UK retail group, has collapsed into administration with the loss of around a third of jobs at the company.

Business advisory group Deloitte said yesterday (1 October) that it has been appointed as administrator for the stricken wine retailer, which operates under the names Booze Buster, Simply Drinks and Simply Food & Drinks.

Deloitte said it has agreed the sale of 109 of Wine Cellar's 170 stores to EFB Retail, securing 700 jobs at the firm. Financial details were not disclosed.

However, the administrator has been forced to cut 320 jobs at the firm, after failing to secure the sale of the remaining 61 stores, it said.

"The company has undertaken an extensive search to find an investor or buyer. It has become necessary to sell the business via an administration, due to its financial position," said Bill Dawson, partner in the Reorganisation Services practice at Deloitte.

Wine Cellar reported net losses of GBP956,000 (US$1.5m) for the year ended 27 January 2008, according to the most recent accounts available for the private company obtained from Companies House. Net losses the previous year were GBP1.5m.

Sales for the year to 27 January 2008 were GBP62m, against GBP61m a year earlier.