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Stevenage collections

I don’t live near Stevenage either, but I make occasional trips down the A1, as do other friends who are members. If I know I am going that way it encourages me to put in an order (and ask friends if they want anything collecting). It saves a miniscule amount of cash but also gives me a chance to look around. What I buy onsite is almost entirely from the bin ends and the oenomat (or whatever it’s called - the tasting machine). It’s also a nice stop for a free coffee (all of these unavailable since restrictions began). It does strike me that without Members’ orders cluttering up the storeroom there will be space for the showroom to expand. And it’s not really a lower price once you factor in car mileage at 50p a mile, unless you’re buying a heck of a lot of wine.

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Sorry, I’ve misled myself, and maybe a few others: Click and collect is not stopping. It’s just the discount that is being discontinued from the end of January.

I mostly collect my wines from reserves in person and I am irked that TWS wishes to reduce its relationship with me. I am not in possession of numbers but I can easily imagine that incorporating changes to a new IT system for what I suspect is a minuscule portion of total sales could be prohibitive. Equally, adding complexity to new IT system- in part or whole- is not in our best interests. I am content to go along with this quietly and see what else transpires.

Of course 25 p a bottle doesn’t make much difference, and I didn’t know about it when I joined, so I can’t claim to be cheated. But:

After a year when they closed completely when others didn’t, and then only opened the showroom briefly, unlike other merchants, I think this is badly timed.

The excuse ‘the need to reduce complexity as much as we can ahead of new IT developments’ is beyond feeble, and frankly rather insulting. We have been waiting for this ‘new IT’ for more than two years, and every problem is always explained by this.

The lack of full information other than ‘some changes to our systems, discounts and policies’ is not a good way of communicating.

None of this convinces me that there was any thought or cost analysis behind this.

I wonder if the economics of the Stevenage store have changed somewhat in the light of covid precautions, reduced footfall, no bin ends etc.

I suspect this significantly reduces profitability, and as such, it would only be fair to the wider membership to cut out effectively subsidising a small percentage of customers.

Pure speculation on my behalf of course.

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It seems to me that anyone who continues to collect wine in future is effectively subsiding a large percentage of members!

I think it really depends on what happens after covid, if we ever reach an “after covid” state. I’m sure that the shop economics have changed but as far as I can see the collection service will still be offered. Maybe it would just be better to drop it altogether, at least for the moment, and operate by delivery only.

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