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Oddbins loses staff to restructure

UK retailer Oddbins is losing around 40 staff in its London headquarters as a result of comprehensive restructuring.

Oddbins’ new owner, the French group Castel which took over the company in January this year, has conduced a review of the company which has resulted in a move to take Oddbins back to its core business.

‘They have identified various areas of the business which need to be overhauled,’ spokeswoman Karen Wise told decanter.com. ‘The idea is that we should refocus on wine and selling. There has been too much expansion.’

This marks the end of a period of expansion for Oddbins, a major part of which was Destination Wine, a company set up as a joint venture with UK supermarket Sainsbury’s. This has since closed, although Oddbins still supplies Sainsbury’s with wine, and the two remain closely associated, with Oddbins branding appearing in Sainsbury’s.

Under the restructure the wholesale and retail functions will be merged to become one sales department. It is understood around 40 positions have been made redundant, although this could not be confirmed at this early stage.

Wise said that sales remained healthy and that the rolling refurbishment programme, in train for a couple of years, was being accelerated to make the stores uniform.

She had one complaint – the weather. ‘If only the sun would shine, people would be having more picnics and barbecues, which would be very good for sales.’

Written by Adam Lechmere10 July 2001

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