New Oddbins plans revealed

19 October, 2011

Oddbins' new management team has given the first indications of its plans for the chain and relaunched with a fresher look and range.

The company, which went into administration six months ago, will have 37 new look stores. Of the 37 stores, 19 are in London, 10 are in Scotland with the remainder split across the rest of England.

Raj Chatha’s European Food Brokers (EFB) Group acquired the 37 Oddbins stores in April.

The new team has spent the last six months 'reviewing the company’s operations, mapping out its future direction and sourcing a new wine range' . New MD Ayo Akintola said it would focus on its core areas of expertise. “In its heyday Oddbins was an innovative force on the high street and transformed the way British consumers purchased wine. We are confident that we can make Oddbins a relevant and much admired brand once again.” He added that Oddbins’ new ownership structure would give it a lower cost base than had previously been the case. “EFB is one of the largest drinks distributors in the UK. We will be able to take advantage of that and its expertise in the sector. Apart from the lower cost base, having EFB as a parent company gives us access to knowledge and expertise which enables us to source interesting wines at competitive prices for our customers.” 

As part of its relaunch, Oddbins is asking its customers to set the price of some of its range. Consumers will be able to sample wines in-store and then provide a price that they would be happy to pay for that bottle.The wines will then go on shelves at the Customer Recommended Price. Akintola said: “It is about time that we engage in a grown up conversation about price with the consumer. The new Oddbins is committed to engaging with our consumers with the continued aim of providing the best possible service. That means great value and great tasting wines with in-store assistance provided by informed and friendly staff.” 

“The disappearance of well known wine merchants from the high street was not to do with the failure of the model per se, but rather a failure on the part of those companies to respond to a changing marketplace."

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