There will be no change at Oddbins following the takeover by French group Castel, which was finalised last Friday (4 January).

The quirky retail chain – UK-based with outposts in Dublin and Calais – has consistently been voted retailer of the year by Decanter readers, amongst other plaudits, and its 230-odd shops have a dedicated following. It is renowned for the knowledge of its staff and the breadth of its range.

Oddbins has been on the market since its parent company Seagram sold its wines and spirits business to Diageo and Pernod Ricard. Now it has been snapped up by Castel Group, owner of upmarket chain Nicolas, which has 400 stores in France, 25 in London, and others in Germany, Belgium and Poland.

Castel founder and boss Pierre Castel said the group’s head office would stay in Wimbledon, London, and confirmed his commitment to the brand.

An Oddbins spokeswoman told decanter.com the look of the stores would not change. ‘Castel is committed to going on with the refurbishment programme we have had running for a while,’ she said.

She also stressed there would be no change in Destination Wine – the joint marketing deal between Oddbins and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s – and said that the recent move of Destination Wine’s managing director Mike Paul to another company had nothing to do with the takeover.

Written by Adam Lechmere7 January 2002