Blog: Oddbins' plight bad news for wine in the UK
Chris Mercer | 4 March 2011
We've added some meat to the metaphorical bones of our Oddbins coverage today, with what we consider to be solid sources saying that the retailer is facing possible administration.
The gist of it is that Oddbins is running out of cash, owes suppliers money and is locked in a potentially-costly court battle with its previous owner, Castel Freres. The outcome of the court battle, in particular, could be key to the retailer's future, as we understand it.
Of course, we're not at the endgame just yet and Oddbins' management has maintained that several options are open to it, including, again as we understand it, restructuring and outside investment.
The retailer's plight, however, is another sad chapter for the UK's independent wine trade. Three quarters of wine is sold by the country's big four supermarkets.
Added to that, huge increases in duty tax on wine, rent rises and a tough economy have played havoc with wine sales over the last couple of years. The forecast for the sector is not much better.
Yet, Oddbins claims to have the highest average spend on wine - around GBP8 per bottle - among the UK's major wine retailers. The UK-wide average spend per bottle is around GBP4.50.
The industry is forever talking about wanting consumers to "trade up". In that context, Oddbins' struggle is a bitter blow.
There was a big focus on supermarkets and their Scotch offerings this week when a couple of own-brand malts scooped top awards at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC)....
You can't seem to move at the moment for news of US craft brewers expanding....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Coca-Cola Life, Australian Vintage, Pernod Ricard and BrewDog....
Beer consumption in Germany - already pretty impressive - will undoubtedly have enjoyed a spike following celebrations over the nation's FIFA World Cup win. ...
- A tobacco analogy soft drinks will want to embrace
- PepsiCo to consider more re-franchising - CEO
- Cleaning China's seedier side brings Remy balance
- Pernod's Portman Group penalty - a coincidence?
- just The Preview - SABMiller's Q1
- Diageo's Captain Morgan Facebook ad banned
- Diageo faces public consultation over W&M sale
- William Grant silent on Drambuie bid talk
- Bacardi to fight US football team legal action
- Alcohol retailer group appoints new chairman