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Changing of the guard at Oddbins

Oddbins buyer Julie Buckley has left the company to pursue “other business opportunities”.

The multiple retailer has made two internal appointments following Buckley’s departure.

Buckley said of her seven years at the company: “My time at Oddbins has been extremely rewarding and has given me a tremendous breadth of experience within the trade.

“I am delighted to have been part of the buying team under the ownership of Simon Baile and Henry Young. It has been particularly satisfying to see that our work together over the last 18 months has finally put Oddbins back on track to be the best wine retailer in the UK.”

Meanwhile, Simon Baile, managing director of the chain, acknowledged Buckley’s contribution and commitment over the years.

He said: “She has done much to shape the buying department and the range. She will be very much missed.”

The promotions to the buying department following Buckley’s departure are Richard Verney, who will become head of buying, and Claire Graham to the role of senior buyer.

In addition to Verney and Graham, two internal employees have been appointed trainee buyers – Ana Sapungiu and Ben Gubbins.

Des Cross, who was previously commercial director at Safeway and whose last post was head of retail at Royal Sun Alliance, has been appointed as the new finance director.

Oddbins has been the subject of speculation recently regarding its financial future, but the company maintains it is in no danger of going the way of failed rival First Quench Retail, which owned the Thresher’s, Wine Rack and Victoria Wine brands.

Rupert Millar, 08.02.10

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