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The week that was

Published:  19 October, 2018

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on, here’s a review of the top online news, analysis, opinions and features.

Top stories: The times they are a changing. This was made clear this week as Theresa May continued to hash out negotiations for what the UK’s relationship with Europe and our neighbours in Ireland could look like beyond March 2019.

As ever, the mark of success in business is often how you change with the times.

And this was a topic discussed by Harpers’ columnist Jerry Lockspeiser in his latest entry for Harpers, as he looked not just the rate of change in our industry, but whether it is even prepared to change.

But as cultural zeitgeists, as well as political, continue to move, the industry is starting to sit up and take notice of some of the major game changes to wines and spirits as we know it.

This was most evident this week with two stories that focus on low and no alcohol as retailers and brand owners continue to respond to moderation trends.

Both Tesco and Diageo have made moves recently to highlight the growing interest in this category, alongside the shift towards more premium products – consumers drinking less but drinking better when they do.

And there were further developments at Treasury Wine Estate as the company continues to try and settle after the sudden passing of European MD Dan Townsend at the beginning of 2017.

Tom King, who initially took over the role has now been appointed chief operating officer for Asia, paving the way for Michelle Brampton to step into the head role in Europe.

Analysis and Insights:
Is there an un-sexier phrase in the English language than “Integrated stock inventory systems”?

Probably not. But those that spend time delving into their back-office operations and fulfilment models stand to reap the benefits, as per our technology focused feature which looked at how businesses can work better and save money reaching their local customer base.

The theme of maximising revenue and looking at alternative ways of working was continued in our independents feature.

As a complementary offering to bricks and mortar wine retailing, online is proving a lucrative option for merchants, Lisa Riley reported.

And we looked at the government’s plans to make sure hospitality workers get 100% of the tips left for them by punters.

The action is a long time coming all agree, although some argue legislation doesn’t go far enough, and are calling for a review into how staff are compensated.

People and Opinion:
While Jerry Lockspieser took the issue of change – and how the wine and spirits industry deals with it – as fodder for his latest column, Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year 2018 Guy Woodward took a closer look at Nyetimber’s first ever prestige cuvée.

The grandly titled 1086 not only carries a hefty £150 price tag, it is a huge moment for English wine, he says.