Wine merchant Oddbins has announced it is to close 39 stores as it moves to secure the future of the loss-making business.
The off-licence, which will cut its stores from 128 to 89, made the decision following a review by a restructuring specialist brought in to help the company as it faced cashflow problems.
A statement from the company said: "Due to the tough economic climate, the business is being restructured, with the result that 39 branches across the United Kingdom will be closed over the coming weeks. The staff have been informed."
The move reflects a tough period for the UK's independent wine trade, which has seen Threshers owner First Quench Retailing collapse in 2009 and the Unwins chain fold in 2005.
Oddbins is under pressure amid competition from the dominant supermarket chains and falling consumer confidence.
It is also involved in a long-running legal spat with the group's previous owner, French drinks group Castel Freres.
The wine merchant brought in Reading-based Spectrum Corporate Finance to complete a strategic review of the business and it was expected to deliver its findings this week. It is understood Spectrum will also advise on finding an outside investor for Oddbins.