Tanners Wines has blamed promotional activity at the multiples for pushing it into the red.

The independent retailer, which owns five stores, made a pre-tax loss of £2,000 in the year to 31 May 2009 compared with a profit of £312,000 the previous year, according to accounts at Companies House. Sales were down 5% to £15.6m.

"Britain has become a nation of bargain discount junkies," said sales director Robert Boutflower. "We can't compete with some of the promotions. We believe in selling at a fair price."

However, the company was set to return to profit this year, he said.