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.
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Pernod Ricard, soft drinks NPD, the Champagne category and international beer brands....
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- Comment - Diageo's Distill Ventures: One Year On
- Pernod Ricard's Allegro cost-saving programme
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Wine Australia reports death of UK, Europe boss
- Diageo takes Haig Club to Singapore airport
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop