I have taken the decision to stop taking new orders and also to stop making deliveries with immediate effect. Applications for new membership and new subscriptions to our Wine Without Fuss and Vintage Cellar Plan schemes are also currently suspended. The Prime Minister’s statement was very clear that the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
I wholeheartedly support the need to do this and as a result we need our employees to stay at home. Many of our employees are already working from home, but this latest development means that our warehouse and transport operations will now be suspended. In addition, our Tastings & Events programme has been cancelled until the end of June and our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage is closed until further notice.
Many of you will be disappointed and some may not agree with our decision, but it is simply impossible for us to argue that it is worth putting our employees at risk in order to deliver a non-essential service. I believe that this is the responsible action to take right now and I hope that most of you will agree.
My team and I are extremely sorry that this will mean that we are unable to fulfil outstanding orders for the time being. It is uncertain for exactly how long this position will prevail and my team is currently contacting members about the status of their orders so that we can bring clarity to the situation. My sincere apologies if our automated systems for communication around delivery are not quite in sync with the speed that we have taken this action.
We have updated our FAQs page and a smaller home-based Member Services team is working to ensure that you receive the communication you need. It would help us if you do not call Member Services due to the unprecedented volume of enquiries they are currently dealing with.
During this time we hope that members and non-members can continue to enjoy our online ‘Discovery’ content, share our love of wine and spend time together on our Community pages.
We pride ourselves at The Wine Society in always doing the right thing. I believe strongly that we are doing the right thing in this instance.
We will endeavour to provide timely and effective communication as this rapidly evolving situation continues to develop. In the meantime, I would like to thank all members for your understanding and support, and to extend our very best wishes to you all.