Lay & Wheeler warehouse and delivery issues

I wanted to start a thread specifically about this, because I’m hearing more and more people having issues with Lay and Wheeler.
I’m aware they moved into a new warehouse at the start of the year (?) which led to some understandable problems - most obviously to us in terms of reserves and delivery.
I transferred a couple of dozen cases from TWS reserves to L&W back in May - they were delivered in a week or two; my account manager has confirmed their arrival at L&W but still not booked into my account. So it’s free storage, but that’s not the point, especially as they are still giving 4-8 weeks lead time. Probably a mistake to make the transfer in any case.
Further to this, they have changed deliveries from LCB (very good) to DHL (we all know) - no problems, until recently when an order I made two weeks ago has still not arrived; no contact from L&W until I contacted my L&W account manager, who in turn is not getting any replies from the warehouse.
If any of you are having similiar issues it would be useful to hear about as it will give a rough idea as to the scale of the problems. There’s rumours here - Forman Wickes Wines UK - Retailer Check / Problem - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers , but that’s the problem, no transparency, which says a lot in itself.

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L&W have always been a lore unto themselves :smiley:

ISTR transferring some wines in a few years ago that took about 3 months to show properly on my account dashboard…

Only recently, I released some wines a few weeks ago. They arrived over multiple deliveries, starting ten days after the initial order, and finishing closer to three weeks after. But, the thing is, they have a warning on their website that this will happen.

So I’ve come to be philosophical about them. On the whole, they have good availability - the sale of singles EP I think is a market leader, for example - but their customer service is perhaps willing, but maybe not as able as others (I’ve had a good personal experience of them dealing with problems as and when they arise, just the problems felt like they should never have arisen in the first place).

So, on the whole, for their faults, no better or worse than others in my experience.

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Never had a problem with L&W

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Lay & Wheeler are in a bit of a mess at the moment. I think they got a lot of new business during the COVID years, partly as a result of their single bottle offering and flexibility on transfers (if you’re a Cellar Circle member). As a consequence, it seemed that a lot of people transferred over to L&W from other storage providers causing a big backlog of onboarding. In some ways, their marketing ploy was too successful and they didn’t have the staff to execute the strategy

To add to that, they started this warehouse move around this time last year. In hindsight, that seems like it was a silly idea.

It’s taken way way longer than it should have and apparently it’s only 75% complete. Given I heard that from customer services last week, I would guess it’s further back than that, it’s probably only just over 50%. There was talk of 2 million bottles needing to be moved and logged onto the new system. There are, of course, problems with that as well with multiple errors.

Where we are now is that they seem to have stock in 3 places, (1) LCB, (2) the new warehouse and (3) in various loading bays.

This means that deliveries can come in 4-5 separate deliveries (all delivered to me by Packfleet actually who seem pretty good).

I made a big order from L&W reserves in late July and have still only received about 50%.

Long story short, they’re in a pickle and must be losing business now.

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I transferred 8 cases from Justerini in early March this year. I followed the L&W instructions to the letter, and heard from J&B that they had been delivered. Only earlier this week did they finally get added to my account, and one of the wines was wrong! Free storage for 6 months (c24 whole pounds!) does little to make up for it, it has been a huge mess

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I bought some EP from them a couple of years or so back that was meant to be delivered last autumn. What eventually happened is that over about 8 months it arrived in dribs and drabs which meant I had two choices; either I took them out as they arrived paying multiple delivery charges of £15 for each drib and drab (I was taking advantage of EP single bottles) or leaving them until all of them arrived and paying storage costs which worked out marginally cheaper than the multiple delivery option, so I went for that. But, as it dragged on, those storage costs looked like getting a bit silly so eventually, after much complaining from me they waived the storage costs. But that experience and their ongoing issues mean I won’t be going back to them in a hurry.

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I’ve been slowly accumulating wines at L&W since lockdown, as single bottle EP has become an increasingly attractive proposition, but have yet to attempt to withdraw anything - so this thread is helpful for expectation setting and planning purposes. Thankfully not in any rush as things stand!

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As if by coincidence that TWS transfer has just appeared in my L&W reserves !

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I think we should cut them some slack. Moving 2 million bottles of wine (many extremely valuable) from Burton-on-Trent to Ipswich is a colossal undertaking. And the reasoning for doing this is sound - to address the lack of control they had over LCB on booking stock in and deliveries.

I had a bunch of inbound transfer finally hit my account this week. One was a home collection from back in March. Is half a year too long? Yes of course it is but I’ve had free storage in that time and they’ve also waived the charges for individual itemisation of bottles in mixed cases. They are also pretty responsive when you contact them.

The switch to DHL is more annoying…I really liked LCB . Delivery was often next day, and I always seemed to be at the beginning of their delivery route!

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