Regional off licence chain Unwins is dropping out of the drinks agency business as part of its ongoing corporate restructure. It is closing down its Birchwood Agencies business which sold and distributed a range of wines and spirits including Prunier cognac, Calem port, Sacred Hill New Zealand wines and Samalens armagnac. The retailer is still in talks with the brand owners and a spokeswoman said a number were already in advanced stages of negotiations with other UK-based companies. Earlier this year the chain unveiled major changes for the company which included 100 redundancies and closer collaboration with TotalFinaElf to set up dedicated Unwins sections in the petrol company's forecourts. It also joined with leading drinks companies to work on concept stores testing new ideas for its off licences. Chief executive David Wetz said: "We have taken a look at all our activities which are not part of the core business. "We have had extensive discussions with our agency principals and found a way of working with them to maintain listings and supply without the added business layer of the agency division. We are actively involved in sourcing relevant representatives for all our agencies." Unwins has maintained its commitment to the brands throughout its estate and they will continue to be available through its Phillips Newman Wholesale business. The change has not led to any redundancies. Sales and marketing director Giles Wood has moved to the marketing and new product development team and agency administrator Julie McNeil will be dealing with the handover period. {{DRINKS }}