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Entrepreneurs buck retail gloom

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Most of Britain is going south, but the son of the former boss of Oddbins is undaunted. News from the Press Association today that Simon Baile, son of Nick who ran the off-licence chain in the seventies, has bought Oddbins from the French drinks group Castel Freres. The deal sum is undisclosed, but one has to assume that, with the slump on the high street and recent dire performance from the likes of Thresher, that it’ll be less than the £57m the French paid for it in 2001.

Oddbins was started in 1963 by entrepreneur Ahmed Pochee began delivering wine to  restaurants and clubs in London’s West End.

Meanwhile, a plucky entrepreneur is going where the likes of B&Q and Homebase are faring so poorly. The Shropshire Star reports that Chris Dawson, apparently "one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the UK", is to open a £1.5m branch of his Range Home Leisure and Garden store in Telford this month, creating 150 jobs. He’s also planning seven further openings across the UK this year. 

Founder Chris Dawson started out as a market trader in the south-west. This year, The Range was ranked 78th in the Sunday Times Profit Track listing.

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