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The Wine Society to start taking new orders soon

After suspending orders two weeks ago, The Wine Society said it hopes to reopen over the Easter weekend albeit with a “reduced service”.

The online wine club and merchant posted a statement on its website from CEO, Steve Finlan.

Finlan thanked The Wine Society’s members for their “continued patience”, adding that the company had made “a number of vital changes” to its warehouse operation to make it safe for members of staff to undertake their duties.

The statement read: “While we are not able to accept new orders quite yet, there is encouraging news to share. I am pleased to say that we have successfully implemented the significant changes needed for our warehouse to reopen safely. We have tested the operation and systems to the full satisfaction of our workforce and our union representative. I hope that this reassures those members concerned for our employees’ well-being. All other business activities are being operated by teams working from home.”

Finlan said that The Wine Society team would first begin by clearing the backlog of orders “generated in the weeks leading up to our closure”.

Customers with outstanding deliveries will be contacted by a member of a team.

“We will work as quickly as possible to clear this backlog, but demand during the period before closure was extremely high, and this process will take some time,” the statement continued.

Finlan said the company was committed to accepting new orders “as quickly as we can” and this would likely be during the Easter weekend.

However, he advised that it would not be business as usual.

“We are committed to open for new orders as quickly as we can. This is likely to be during the Easter weekend. This will be a reduced service: initially we will be taking orders for full unmixed cases only and offering full-case withdrawals from Members’ Reserves.

“Based on our experience before closure, however, initial demand will inevitably exceed our ability to pack orders in our new environment and this will impact delivery dates.”

Ewan Murray, PR manager at The Wine Society, told the drinks business more about what the company had been doing during its temporary closure.

He said: “While we are already on the way to modernising our systems, we have still been using a system of multiple levels and people movements. We took the decision to temporarily close the cellars in order to implement a brand new operation with system changes that effectively spread out the operation and control the movement of people.

“Essentially we have changed the way our systems are configured and introduced short shifts. These take previously high levels of people movements out of the operation and secure a safe environment for our team.”

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