Off-licence business Oddbins has warned of job losses after appointing advisers to look at its options following an “extremely tough” Christmas.

Directors at owner European Food Brokers said that the businesses, which include Wine Cellar Trading and Whittalls Wine Merchants, could not “continue in the current form” and might have to be sold.

The business, which employs more than 500 people at over 100 off-licences, has appointed Duff & Phelps to consider the group’s options, according to an email to staff seen by The Guardian.

The company’s retail arm has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators, protecting it from creditors for 10 days, according to Sky News.

“The past couple of months have been extremely tough trading-wise and, like the rest of the high street in the UK, the important Christmas period was difficult for us,” directors wrote in their email to staff.

“At this stage, all businesses should continue to trade until further notice. However, we owe it to you as our loyal employees to be honest and say to you that it is highly likely that, devastatingly, there will be job losses in the near future.”

They added that falling like-for-likes, the drop in the value of the pound and an average 17.8% rent rise on its properties had conspired to put “a significant strain on the cash flow of the business”.

If the company does collapse it would be the second time in less than a decade, as European Food Brokers acquired the stores out of administration in 2011.