Unwins rejig sparks jobs, stores cull

Unwins Wine Group is consolidating its sales and marketing operations and slashing 53 head office jobs in a restructure, after it was bought by venture capitalist DM Private Equity. The changes will also lead to the closure of 41 high street stores.

The marketing division will remain centralised, despite the creation of four core business units. Unwins marketing director Ian McLernon’s role has been enlarged to take in sales. He will also have responsibility for investing in brands and the retail operations, covering all four new divisions.

The four new divisions are retail, brands, wholesale and logistics. Unwins is the core retail arm, operating 382 stores in the South-east; Phillips, Newman & Co, the brands division, has responsibility for over 20 product brands and two dedicated retail outlets; PN Wholesale is the drinks wholesale operation; and UDS is the group’s logistics division.

Phillip Cook, chairman of UW Acquisitions and the Unwins Wine Group, says: “We have conducted a thorough review of the organisational structure, business plan, and objectives of Unwins and firmly believe that this strategy will restore the group to profitability.”

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