Hundreds of jobs are at risk after off-licence chain Oddbins appointed administrators from Duff & Phelps.
Philip Duffy and Matthew Ingram have been appointed joint administrators of Wine Cellar Trading, Whittalls Wines Merchants 1 Limited, Whittalls Wines Merchants 2 Limited and EFB Retail.
European Food Brokers (EFB), which has owned Oddbins since its previous administration in 2011, operates 101 off-licences and two convenience stores across the group employing around 550 employees. EFB continues to trade and is not an entity that has entered into administration.
Phil Duffy said: “The continued decline in consumer spending, pointing to a squeeze on household finances, combined with rising living and national wages have put increased pressure on retailers’ bottom lines. As wages struggle to keep up with the pace of inflation and continued, deepening unease and uncertainty over Brexit, means consumers are cutting back on spending. Add into that mix rising business rates and rents and traditional bricks and mortar, retailers are undoubtedly feeling the strain.
“The joint administrators will continue to operate all stores as a going concern in the short-term whilst a financial review of all stores is completed, whilst a buyer is sought for the business and assets of the companies.”
European Food Brokers Limited, which is based in Walsall in the west Midlands, is owned by Raj Chatha, an entrepreneur, and his family.