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Looking ahead: Julia Jenkins, owner and MD, Flagship Wines

Published:  14 August, 2019

As the first half of 2019 draws to a close, Harpers asked key trade figures to highlight the current challenges, ongoing trends and opportunities

We continue our series with insights from Julia Jenkins, owner and MD, Flagship Wines

How has the first half of 2019 been when compared to the same period in 2018?

It has been a fairly tough trading year and we are pleased to have achieved some growth in this period.

What were the highs and lows for your own business in the first six months of 2019?

Lows – continued economic and political uncertainty regarding future planning.

What, currently, are the biggest challenges for the trade?

The easy answer is Brexit which no doubt is the most commonly voiced challenge, low / no alcohol products, decreased alcohol consumption especially in the younger age groups who potentially will be the next generation of wine drinkers.

Will you be preparing in any way for a second potential ‘no deal’ or some deal Brexit day on 31 October and, if so, how?

Remain alert, be flexible, increase stock levels, work closely with suppliers, adapt as ever to our customers needs.

Taking current trading conditions into account, what’s your strategy for meeting those challenges during the second half of the year, leading up to the crucial Christmas trading period?

Without a crystal ball that’s a difficult one! As above, and we will focus on Christmas offers re offers, stock levels, margin, based on customers’ views re their requirements for festivities.

What will the focus be on with regard to your portfolio (and any updates) and why?

Maintaining margin, safeguarding our strong independent merchants’ profile re depth and breadth of range, but in line with developing / evolving situations

For you, what are the most significant emerging trends in the drinks world?

Gin, no & low alcohol drink developments

What, for you, would make for a perfect summer?

Sunshine and healthy wine sales.