The four Dublin outlets are to be put up for sale through Genesis Financial. In the meantime they will continue to trade.
Management consultants have been recruited to Oddbins to help examine the UK wine retailer’s ‘strategic options’ as it’s believed that it’s running low on cash and unable to pay suppliers so the threat of going into administration hangs over the company.
Oddbins was bought from French company Castel Freres three years ago by Simon Baile (son of the original founder Nick Baile) who seemed to give the chain something of a sales fillip with losses shrinking from £10 million in 2007 to £4.5 million in 2009.
"During 2010, we saw our footfall increase significantly for the first time in many years” commented Simon Baile, “added to which we have seen strong growth in average spend and Oddbins’ average bottle price is now the highest of the high street multiples".
He claimed that at around £8 per bottle, average spend on wine at Oddbins considerably outdoes the £4.50 median spend at the UK’s major wine retailers where the big four multiples have grabbed 75 per cent of wine sales.
The development has been put down to the “tough economic climate”, a reflection of the gravity of the off-licence situation at present in the UK where a heavily declining market has also been subject to an increasing tax regime. Oddbins’ quandry is not helped by an ongoing legal dispute with Castel Freres understood to be over money owed from the purchase.
It’s understood too that French off-licence chain Nicolas holds a floating charge over Oddbins’ stock.