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An important update from our CEO Steve Finlan

Give it your best shot at least :sweat_smile:


Yes sir!

(I’m suddenly glad the three “Spring 2020” arrival En Primeur’s I’m awaiting haven’t arrived!)

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Really appreciate that of course there will be members that are not pleased at the news of The Wine Society suspending orders and deliveries, but I feel it’s important to clarify that Steve Finlan made the decision with the full support of our Committee, our Chairman Sarah Evans and with the Executive Team involved. They have made the decision for the safety of all The Wine Society employees and not just those of us staff who are lucky enough to be working safely at home at this time.


If they are all open then you have plenty of choice and have even less need for the society to be open


Me too…a quick calculation based on my Cellartracker data (assuming it’s vaguely correct!) gives me about 18 months supply based on current drinking habits… I nearly included all my wine then remembered that quite a bit is in storage still…,…

I “only” have about a years supply in at the moment!


Yapp only reopened today. They have 4 people in the warehouse. Perhaps one of the staff can say how many the society warehouse needs at 3x normal capacity?

We have circa 40-50 people in the warehouse during most of the year however when its the lead-up to Chrismas and demand increases (and we have been seeing sales equal to those in the lead up to Christnas recently) we double the numbers of staff in order to cope.


Got to say though that Steve (and Board etc) has saved me some money this month as I have delayed the usual large wine orders until TWS is back online. I’ve funnelled some spending This week towards local independents who have scrambled to get very local deliveries in place, at least until it all inevitably gets locked down further in London. Overall, it’s been nice to see the wider wine trade and wine community come together during this.


All based on ‘current drinking habits’…perhaps after another week of this, these reserves dates will have dropped dramatically…those with school age children at home would probably agree with this!


Thanks Freddy.

I’d be surprised if any but the biggest merchants come close, really glad they’re safely at home.


To @Aaronb point, L&S isn’t quite open either in the normal sense. You can order for very local delivery or prearrange something they will leave outside the shop for you. Not allowed in the shop, and only stock on hand (no orders from the warehouse for delivery nor collection).

There’s a little natural wine bar in Ealing that was doing deliveries for a few days by motorbike, I was going to order a few bottles tomorrow. Unfortunately they stopped that today as well. I’m disappointed but I should have done my order yesterday when I thought about it. I sent them a nice note. Lovely couple.

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Thank you TWS members, your responses to nonsense have uplifted me at least. Couldn’t be happier. Freddy I could kiss you.



Haha. Impressive! Puts the toilet roll hoarding into perspective :slight_smile:

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Thanks Freddy, for providing updates. I do find the decision disappointing when other online retailers continue to operate.
As such can I clarify something, as I recall, having visited the warehouses that there are 4 or 5 warehouses at Stevenage. One of which is the second tallest in the UK. So massive. If so that is 10 or so operators per warehouse. The warehouses are broadly automated - conveyors running everywhere with very limited/no human handover.

The reason for being so frustrated is that the TWS, who have the capacity and the tools to deliver products Warehouse rack/shelf to customer door safer than most but have simply shut up shop.
This simply adds greater pressure onto the supply chain which is already creaking.

Now wine retailers are now ‘Essential’ I am interested to see what Mr Finlan now decides to do.

Finally an uplifting response from a small wine retailer…
Thank you so much for your order. The response we have received in the past few days has been overwhelming and pretty emotional for our little team. Online sales to people like you really are keeping us going as a business, and keeping spirits up just when we need to.


It is just wine and the bank balance will be happy that I can’t buy from the society. I understand the decision to stop delivery but I have successfully used a number of merchants to deliver contact free to self isolating friends and family, in the last week.

What puzzles me is the decision to stop all purchases, even for members reserves and to abandon the Barolo EP, surely these are processes that can done remotely? If not, it feels that the society’s BCP and IT systems must lacking and outdated, which would be a concern.


Given the opinions expressed above I must say I am surprised about how many people don’t seem to get the message: this virus spreads by close contact and if we could avoid that 100% for just 2-3 weeks it would be gone. That is obviously impossible to do, however if we can minimise contact as much as possible, the peak infection rate will be lower and later, helping relieve pressure on the NHS. This virus is not only killing elderly people, but also otherwise healthy young people. We all should try to comply with the sensible government advice. The more businesses stay open, the longer this epidemic will continue. I find it shocking to see people ignoring the government advice, and I fail to find any understanding for their behaviour. Even though wine retailers seem to be on the “essentials” list, this is clearly politically motivated, and it would help if they all closed down and let their staff work from home as far as possible. I applaud TWS for their decision to protect their staff and therefore the wider public.

I am a physician (registered in 1987) and a registered epidemiologist (SMBWO, Netherlands, 1993).


I’m pleased to see EP offers postponed. Much as I’d like to see the Barolo offer, I’m conscious many of us don’t know how our incomes will be affected in the coming weeks (and probably months). Postponing until we have a clearer picture is by far the most fair, most sensible approach, for the benefit of all.


Just for the record, THIS is the current government advice for businesses: “With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.”

You can read it in context here if you doubt what I am saying

You might not like it, and lots of people in various positions of authority may say otherwise (notably Sadiq Khan who makes a fair point about the stupidly busy tube system in London) but it is what it is.

Personally I do not believe the advice is money-grabbing capitalism (and here I admit I am straying into opinion) - it is about keeping the economy going to enable us to fund the fight against the virus.