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Published:  09 August, 2012



Jane Cuthbertson owner Barrica Wines, Preston, says the holiday season make things difficult when trying to keep overheads down. "As we are open seven days a week, it is usually me that ends up covering, rather than blow money on extra staff. I actually can't remember the last time I worked a 40 hour week, it's more like a 90 hour week currently. When you're self employed you have to be prepared to take up the slack and cover any gaps."



James Baker, retail sales & events manager, Nickolls & Perks, Stourbridge, says

"We have 12 members of staff, so if one or two are on holiday at the same time, things quickly back up. Communication is the key, you have to talk to each other and look medium to long term regarding holidays. We have in the past few months seen the need to extend our opening hours and we are now looking at opening seven days per week. Although a recession affects everyone in the wine trade, being a family run business I think we are ideally placed to cope with people taking time off. We make sure that there is always someone here to cover. Even if it is not necessarily your role, we like to think of our selves as the Dutch Footballers of the wine trade. i.e. all staff have the ability to cover different roles other than their own. I feel to be too rigid in this day & age is bad news. There are no Prima Donnas, no one saying 'that is not my role', it is sleeves rolled up and get in there and get the job done. That can be a very satisfying way of operating. Sometimes a change of role for a few days in quite refreshing."



Rupert Pritchett, owner Taurus Wines. "We find everything comes to a grinding halt as son the posh schools break up - The Surrey Hills 'Boden brigade' seem to migrate to Tuscany, Provence or if they are feeling the credit crunch, Rock. As a result we take less money in August than in January. This actually is a good thing and allows us to have a tactical pause to stocktake, staff to take holiday etc and being based on a farm the harvest is coming in at the moment so there is an element of chaos caused by that. Therefore keeping our inbound deliveries to a minimum is a good thing. However, the Olympics has encouraged people to stay around this year for an extra couple of weeks or so which has extended the summer season a little and is giving us a chance to clear rosé over-stocks caused by the grotty weather."




Duncan McLean, manager the Longship, Orkney: "We certainly don't shut down over the summer - it's the busiest time of the year.  Orkney is popular with visitors, and quite a lot of folk come for a week or two. Juggling staff holidays is always tricky, but with a bit of experience you work out how to schedule it relatively smoothly, when to take in casual staff etc.  Any shop keeper who complains about being too busy needs their head examined - we should be grateful for that.  It's the opposite that's worrying."