Blog: Chris MercerOddbins' 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.


BLOG

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

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....

BLOG

Iron Maiden man not so super with his Trooper

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. ...

BLOG

Homebrewer's whirl with Vienna IPA pays off

The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...

BLOG

Press pack prefer to probe Pernod Ricard in private

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....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?