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An important update from our CEO Steve Finlan

I’m gonna man up and go find a crowded place.


No one would expect vulnerable people, or those that care for them, to go into work.

Beyond that, the social-distancing measures are intended primarily to slow the rate at which the cases will increase. Everybody should respect social-distancing rules, but they are primarily for the good of the whole of society, not for the individuals who practise it. Most of us will get infected anyway eventually, whatever we do.

It is also vital for society as a whole that it functions economically. Otherwise we will not be able to support the sick, and those who need to self-isolate.

So I support @JP2020, using my real name, and it is nothing to do with my being selfish or expecting TWS staff to die for it. I don’t need wine, but in general the country needs to keep in business.

OTOH I do also understand that the way the TWS warehouse works may make it difficult for staff to maintain safe distances from each other. Personally, when things settle a little, I would suggest that in the medium term rationing wine deliveries would be a sensible approach.


From my perspective (not speaking on behalf of TWS) this is exactly it. This situation has developed so rapidly, so I think taking steps to make sure staff are safe and don’t unnecessarily increase the spread of the virus to their loved ones, who would in turn spread it to their loved ones (and so on…) is a responsible course of action at a time when the NHS are begging us to stay home.


While this is our governments policy, it needn’t be the case. As in South Korea with a much more rigorous “test and isolate” strategy they have gotten the rates of infection (i.e. the number of people each infected person passes the virus on to) without most of the population having to catch the virus, while also successfully keeping their economy going (more effectively that we currently are). Even with our current “flatten the curve and gain immunity” strategy, the further distanced people are, the more effective it will be.

Thank you JP2020. You have given me a really good laugh. I can almost hear ‘take it on the chin’ hovering in the background. Can we have an statement of the day? Hopefully you can start blaming the Chinese or channeling Tim Martin.
Laugh, I thought my trousers would never dry!



Could you make sure Steve sees some of these responses. It’s a strange decision on deliveries.


Dear Steven,

I was very disappointed to see the note from the CEO on the Wine Society website that the decision has been taken to close deliveries (I agree entirely on the rest).

This seems to run directly against the governments guidelines to keep off licenses open.

Coronavirus: Off-licences added to list of ‘essential’ retailers https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52033260

The Wine Society is a pillar of Britain and uniquely positioned to step up at the moment to provide contactless deliveries. To take the pressure off of and derisk the spread of the virus in physical off licenses or super markets. And to prioritize members - or even extend to non members - who are essential and key workers.

With safe measures for delivery drivers and warehouse staff, it would also be very doable to manage down any risk to staff. And minimize any interaction with customers in the interests of all.

This strikes me as a mid judgement and missed opportunity to step up. But in fairness things are moving very quickly and there is plenty of uncertainty. So we are all making the best decisions we can and need to revisit them regularly.

Is there a chance to reconsider the decision?



the difference is companies who value staff over profit…


on the theme of @Taffy-on-Tour…what happens to your members reserves ?



would suggest you email it to him directly using the form found here - https://www.thewinesociety.com/ContactUs.aspx

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Thank you

Wow. Sarah Evans take note.

A couple really strong reactions here and on the social media post. Very much in the minority, I wonder if it’s the same people. I just don’t understand the level of anger displayed at what is fundamentally a very difficult business decision on the grounds of safety for the employees and the country.

You know, there are good independent wine merchants that are still open. They have a different operation and are making different choices. This is a great chance to support them even more.

Peace and Health to TWS workers, CEO and Committee. I look forward to Barolo 2016, my TWS Taste bottles finally arriving and the ensuing Community Communion, withdrawing a few cases from reserves before my annual bill is due, and a general getting through my wish list. I also look forward to hunting down a few fun bottles locally and arrange an odd out door handover from stock on hand (Lea & Sandeman Chiswick) :v:


I disagree with that. This would take a lot of pressure off the supermarkets and others that are being asked to step up to keep Britain going. This is the request from the government not about profit over people

  • obviously said bottle hunt will only be undertaken during my BoJo sanctioned once a day cycle ride with members of my household only.

If any of you are police, I am complying.


…vs people getting ill and putting stress on the NHS

I will cope without my deliveries for now…

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I don’t see how you can say that it will take a lot of pressure off supermarkets. It’s not wine that’s there are major shortages of. And it really isn’t essential (despite today’s about turn on that).

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How do you KNOW that the societies warehouse staff can operate safely and maintain distance? Especially with ordering 3x the volume normally expected?

Also how do you KNOW that the wine society orders directly correlate to less supermarket wine orders?

I’m genuinely interested.

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That’s a personal decision. But it’s not what the government is asking for and it’s not a choice that other retailers are given. So it would be relieving stress on the system at a time it needs it. I don’t need wine delivering personally. I’m lucky to have plenty at home but I was about to pass the link and suggest membership for others given a non contactless delivery service is literally perfect for the Wine Society. Respect your view. But disagree. And I think the Wine Society can and should play a role here


Interesting post on Yapp’s social media for those that also use them. They’ve recently restarted. They will have 4 people in the warehouse. I’d guess to keep the society warehouse going it would be many times that.


Have a read of the BBC article I posted in the original note. It makes it clear that there is pressure on the supermarkets and that this would help. And in a far safer way than delivering via traditional physical retail. This is the governments definition and ask.