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An important update from our CEO Steve Finlan

Hi everyone,

It’s on the website, and you’ll be receiving an email too, but wanted to share Steve’s update here too to make sure everyone’s aware of the current situation (and I’ll move all the previous discussion here so it’s in one place):

I have taken the decision to stop taking new orders and also to stop making deliveries with immediate effect. The Prime Minister’s statement was very clear that the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

I wholeheartedly support the need to do this and as a result we need our employees to stay at home. Many of our employees are already working from home, but this latest development means that our warehouse and transport operations will now be suspended.

Many of you will be disappointed and some may not agree with our decision, but it is simply impossible for us to argue that it is worth putting our employees at risk in order to deliver a non-essential service. I believe that this is the responsible action to take right now and I hope that most of you will agree.

I am extremely sorry that this will mean that we are unable to fulfil outstanding orders for the time being. It is uncertain exactly how long this position will prevail.

Our Member Services lines will be not be taking inbound calls today and will reopen with a smaller home-based team tomorrow. In the meantime, the team will start immediately to contact members about the status of their orders so that we can bring clarity to the situation. My sincere apologies if our automated systems for communication around delivery are not quite in sync with the speed that we have taken this action. It would help us if you do not call Member Services when they do reopen.

We pride ourselves at The Wine Society in always doing the right thing. I believe strongly that we are doing the right thing in this instance.

We will endeavour to provide timely and effective communication as this rapidly evolving situation continues to develop. In the meantime, I would like to thank all members for your understanding and support, and to extend our very best wishes to you all.

Steve Finlan
Chief Executive Officer

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I find myself unprepared for this latest development!

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Oh gosh. Does that mean wine is not classed as essential?

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I’ll update you all with more info tomorrow. :slightly_smiling_face:

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!!!OMG :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::scream::scream::scream::scream::scream:!!
But totally understandable! Everyone needs to e safe xx

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Under normal circumstances I might agree. But over the last few days it has been vital for my sanity.

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This is going to get expensive… I’m almost out of mid-week wine. I’ll have to start raiding the ‘cave’!

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And no @Brocklehurstj … ‘skipping up the road to my mate James’ house to drink some wine’ is not classed as essential travel.

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Order collected by FedEx from the Society yesterday afternoon. Fingers crossed they’re still delivering today!

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At least I will clear the home cellar… a long time objective. Some expensive stuff is gonna get drunk young.

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Had about 3 cases of reserves withdrawal due on Thursday, and several very good Burgundies due for delivery on Friday and the following Friday (I tried to collate all the orders but didn’t get a response from a obviously very busy member services).

Oh well, just have to drink what is here already and trust all will be delivered once back up and running. Not a big problem unless my already reduced Fourrier order goes missing :scream::scream:.

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I guess this might also put some of the virtual tastings planned on hold? I must say, this felt like a blow when I first read it… :worried:
One of my local wine merchants, which I use quite a lot, is still delivering- though they closed the physical shop. I might have to use them as an alternative for the foreseeable, I guess…

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I’ll send the kids with balaclavas on. Should keep my identity safe.

Interesting. Online retail is unaffected.

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Do you mean other retailers?

I suspect this decision has been taken due to the welfare of TWS employees - keep them at home and out of the way of others. Maybe other online retailers have different priorities or needs?

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Agreed. But we are an online retailer with expectations from the membership - lose customers to other retailers and they may never come back.

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…the Governments not unreasonable expectation is that TWS staff members stay safely socially distanced at home to prevent the spread of covid-19… I suspect we will see other online retailers drying up as the situaton develops and they acquiesce to BoJos instructions.

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Will have to add wine to the next Ocado order… (if we can keep the slot and if they have any wine left)

The message on the site has changed to a letter from @SteveF - deliveries have stopped with immediate effect.

That’s a cooperative taking the lead to protect their staff and the country.

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The website keeps being unavailable, so I can’t see the letter, but repeatedly changing and reducing what is offered (TWS is by no means the worst) is the best way of ensuring that people react by rushing to stockpile now: not just food, but everything from wine to days out before there is yet another change.