High street wine retailer Oddbins is reportedly poised to crash into administration for the second time in eight years, putting 500 jobs at risk.
Oddbin’s parent company European Food Brokers (EFB), is set to appoint Duff & Phelps as administrators for the off licence chain, which also includes Wine Cellar Trading and Whittals Wine Merchants subsidiaries, according to Sky News.
EFB, which employs 539 people, told the broadcaster it will trade throughout the process and is seeking a buyer.
The Walsall-based business, owned by entrepreneur Raj Chatha, made a £4m loss in the in the 18 months to July 31 2018.
“We have filed a notice of intention to appoint Duff & Phelps as administrators for Wine Cellar Trading Limited, Whittals Wines Merchants 1 Limited, Whittals Wines Merchants 2 Limited and EFB Retail Limited,” a spokesperson for EFB said in response to the report.
“The deterioration of the high street, combined with the continuing economic uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, has resulted in an unsustainable, tough physical retail market.
“We will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while options are assessed for the business, including a possible sale. All businesses continue to trade until further notice.
“European Food Brokers Limited and its additional businesses continue to trade and are not part of this announcement.”
Oddbins, which has 45 stores in the UK, was purchased by EFB in 2011 after it first collapsed in to administration after tax authorities rejected a rescue deal with creditors.
Uncertainty at the retail chain is the latest hammer blow for the high street, following announcements of major job losses at Tesco and Patisserie Valerie already this month.