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An important update from our CEO Steve Finlan

Adds to basket… subtracts from basket… adds to basket …. adds again :rofl:

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I too have had an email from DHL. My delivery was due today via TWS van. Seems that they may have been able to move some or all of today’s deliveries onto a carrier

I suspect that as today’s deliveries will have been picked and packed then asking their normal 3rd party carrier to collect and deliver wouldn’t have been beyond the wit of man

Hi @dallardice! As @Tom_R correctly says, if the order had already left our warehouse yesterday for delivery by Wine Society Van we transferred it to DHL to deliver once our own drivers had been stood down. Apologies for the confusion - it was a very small batch of orders which had already been despatched by the time we took the decision to close the warehouse.

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No worries - great that I will get TWS order! But having placed a WaitroseCellar order as a replacement I might just have enough to get me through to the end of lockdown…

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There is no basket!

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But the wish list still works… Mine’s grown exponentially!

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Mine feels more like a Wishful Thinking list at the moment… :grimacing: :crossed_fingers:

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I wonder if this will impact on the decision:

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I very much hope not. I think that Mr Finlan is spot on, in his reasoning. I was quite blase about Covid-19, a week and a half ago, and I work in the NHS. Not anymore, based upon what I am hearing both here and from abroad. Better to be overly cautious, at this time, in my opinion. The worst is probably still to come. Good luck to everybody.

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I’d just seen this when you posted it @ASmith - thanks for sharing! It seems a strange and slightly random addition, in my opinion. Much as I adore wine, I still don’t quite see how alcohol is an ‘essential service’ to the point we should encourage people out of their homes to visit or work at alcohol shops.

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I guess the reasoning is about trying to keep people happy over a potentially long period of social isolation. But I totally agree it is not an essential service - and would probably do us all good to have less access for a while. Not least because we always tend to enjoy stuff more if we are denied it for a bit!

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I know it (hopefully) does not apply to TWS drinkers but the genuinely alcohol dependent can fit and die if they stop drinking suddenly. Not that I think keeping offies open is a particularly bright idea.

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I fully support the closure, but it would still be great if we could browse and put things in our basket, or even see what I’ve already put in my basket! I often browse for weeks before placing an order. I know the wish list still functions, but it’s not as good as the basket.

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I think I know how the Americans felt when they managed to scramble aboard the last helicopter out of Saigon!

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The government has classified off-licences as an essential service. I sympathise with the reasons behind the decision to close, but can’t help feeling it was panicky and premature, and should be reviewed. Surely it is possible to run such a service while observing the guidelines on social distancing? Closing just puts an additional strain on the supermarkets, who have a more important job to do. If you can take some of the strain, that would be a genuine contribution. Speaking personally, I’m stuck inside self-isolating for at least 12 weeks and I’m going to go completely nuts if I can’t have a glass or two of wine in the evening.

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Hi @petertheduck. Completely appreciate your view. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately it was more complex than that for us - with three times the usual demand for March and a reduced workforce in the warehouse, despite bringing in volunteers from other parts of the business and adhering to strict physical distancing criteria, we could not guarantee the safety of our staff, which is currently our chief concern. That is why we took the decision to temporarily close.

I think off-licenses and much smaller operations would still be able to deliver orders safely, but in our case the size of the business and demand made that impossible.

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Well Majestic seem to be managing somehow, but these are not easy decisions and I understand why you would want to err on the side of caution

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We’re really sorry for the disappointment @petertheduck :disappointed: The decision to suspend our delivery and order facilities was made by our CEO but also with the full support of The Committee and our Chairman, Sarah Evans. It was made not only to protect our delivery drivers and members (as well as lessening the strain on our external carriers, as their staff will also be at risk) but it will protect our warehouse staff - they will unfortunately all be at risk on site if the orders and deliveries stay open and our CEO has made the decision with them in mind as well.

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Majestic are a completely different set up and have local sites to you with a small number of employees. They do not ship from a central base.

I really appreciate your understanding - and I get that not everyone will agree when these are strange and ever-changing times.

I think Majestic can use their stores for deliveries, meaning it’s a much smaller group of people who are making up deliveries in-store, and therefore perhaps easier to enforce social distancing compared to a large warehouse processing thousands of orders a day.
But that said, I can’t speak for other merchants’ decisions - I just know we made ours with the health of our staff and preventing the spread of infection (both within staff and beyond) at the forefront of our mind.

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