Coronavirus triggers "unprecedented" demand for wine at Gloucestershire super supplier
By Andrew Merrell | 25th March 2020
If you have ever seen the wine warehouse in Brockworth belonging to Laithwaite's you might think the nation incapable of drinking it dry. But is seems we are giving it a good go.
Its 178,000 square foot of purpose-built storage space which can contain something like 16,500 pallets in racking reaching 14 metres high is something to behold.
As far as activity goes, it is the national firm's main hub and back in 2017 was delivering 45,000 cases of wine a week with demand doubling or trebling at peak periods, like Christmas.
No figures are available for the period since the UK entered the coronavirus crisis proper, but mail-order and online retailer told the Daily Telegraph demand had been "enormous".
"Normally on a sunny day our phones are quiet because everybody is outdoors, but yesterday [Sunday, March 22] was enormous.
"Sales are about double what we normally see at this time of year, on a par with Black Friday except without us sending out lots of marketing material," Laithwaite's' Andrew Stead told the newspaper and website.
Punchline was unable to reach anyone at the firm, but its website speaks volumes for where it is. In short, shut to new orders for the time being while it takes stock.
"We'll be back soon," declares a statement on its website. "Unfortunately we are currently closed to new orders as we work our way through an unprecedented number of existing orders and also implement new working arrangements to safeguard the health and safety of our teams.
"We are working towards having our website and telephone order lines open again very soon and hope to serve you then.
"If you have already ordered, we are very much still delivering and should be with you shortly.
"We will open our website to new orders as soon as we can and you will be able to place orders then. Our call centre is currently closed."
It added: "Laithwaite's shops and Laithwaite's Locals (in garden centres, farm shops etc.) will be closed until further notice in line with the latest government guidelines."
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