United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Retail Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Retail Sale Of Food, Beverages And Tobacco In Specialised Stores
47.25 - Retail sale of beverages in specialised stores

1,800 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
20 December 2005
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


Unwins, the off-licence chain has been shut down with the loss of 1,800 jobs, after administrators took control of the business. Myles Halley, joint administrator from KPMG, said: 'Unwins has suffered, like other off-licence chains, from increased competition from supermarkets and tight margins. The business is believed to have debts of about £30 million. Some 400 employees, mostly shop managers, had been made redundant earlier this month as Unwins had shut all but 95 of its 350 stores, putting many leases up for sale. Suppliers are believed to have been concerned about Unwins' future for some time, keeping the company to tight credit agreements. Stock has been running down for some months.


  • 21 December 2005: The Guardian


Eurofound (2005), Unwins, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 62644, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/62644.