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Oddbins hires consultancy to advise on options

UK wine merchant Oddbins has hired a business consultancy to examine its strategic options.

Oddbins has taken on business analysts Spectrum Corporate Finance to advise on the way forward ‘in the current challenging retail environment’, managing director Simon Baile has told Decanter.com.

The chain was acquired by French group Castel in 2002, and for the next six years gradually lost its position as one of the most popular high street retailers in the country.

In 2008 its purchase by Baile, son of one of the original managing directors, was met with universal goodwill from the UK trade.

Since then Oddbins has been dogged by reports of supply-chain problems, staff discontent and wholesaler jitters about the firm’s credit-rating, although it reported healthy growth figures for the first quarter of 2010.

In a letter to Decanter.com Baile said, ‘Since we took over the company in 2008, the business has been transformed and during 2010 we saw our footfall increase significantly for the first time in many years, added to which we have seen strong growth in average spend and Oddbins average bottle price is now the highest of the high street multiples.

‘As the current retail environment continues to be challenging, we have recently engaged Spectrum Corporate Finance to advise us on strategic options.’

Written by Adam Lechmere

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