Simon Baile, the former owner of Oddbins, has prompted a flurry of negative comment after buying five of his shops back from administrators Deloitte.
Three of the sites are in London – Canonbury, East Sheen and Farringdon Street, one is in Surbiton and the fifth in Summertown, Oxford
Oddbins went into administration last month with debts of £20m. More than half of the chain’s 89 stores have now been sold, as well as the rights to the Oddbins brand name.
Baile told Decanter.com the new stores will trade under the name of his existing company ExCellar, which has stores in Ashtead, Claygate, Fulham Road in London, and Paris.
‘Our first task is to get the shops, which have now been shut for a few weeks, trading again, to get a team together and get energy back into the stores. We intend to continue to do what we do best: to offer interesting wines from small independent growers.’
Baile said they would not be need a new wine buyer, ‘as we already have plenty of experience and intelligence at ExCellar.’
He said he could not discuss the company’s internal finances in reference to what level of investment would be required to restock and open the shops.
Baile’s acquisition has not gone down well amongst a sizeable number of bulletin board users – all of them anonymous, though almost certainly disgruntled former staff of Oddbins, several hundred of whom were made redundant.
‘Maybe he would first like to pay mine and my partners redundancy and wages before he galivants around like the cat who got the cream. Unbelievable,’ one post on Jim’s Loire Blog said.
Another asked, ‘Which poor, desperate suckers will be manning [the branches]?’
Written by Jim Budd