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Italian wine, Sherry, and sparkling sales rise as consumers prepare for lockdown

Consumers have been stocking up on French and Italian wines and Champagne in readiness for a lockdown caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, according to leading UK wine specialist retailer Majestic Wine.

The high street retailer saw sales of European wines rise at the weekend, with Italian and French wines up 44% and 68% percent respectively over the last seven days. Other key lines that saw a boost include Sherry (up 114%) and brandy (up 545), while English wine rose 124% and sparkling wine also rose, up 34%.

Demand for delivery also rose, tripling in the space of a week and a spokesman said there was a series of continuity plans in place to deal with further increase in demand for online or phone delivery.

“We recognise this is an incredibly important service for our customers at this stage, and will ensure we do all we can to keep our fleet of 200 vans running across Britain. We have also put in place further guidance for stores on helping the most vulnerable customers, such as those self isolating or the elderly,” he said.

The company said it remained optimistic that supplies would not run out despite potential disruption to supply lines across Europe as large swathes of the continent remain in lockdown, with Majestic CEO John Colley saying it had brought forward its summer inventory to deal with any potential interription.

“We are confident that we will have the capacity to meet the increase in demand,” he said.

In-store tasting events have been suspended, and the retailer says it is putting in extra hygiene measure in place, including deep cleaning store and warehouses, creating extra handwashing points to encourage customers and staff to wash their hands before handling any bottles, and making hand sanitisers and tissues available in all 200 Majestic locations. 

“Following government guidelines, we are asking that all staff stay at home the minute they experience any of the symptoms.

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