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Jascots calls out to retail and wholesalers in need of stock as it pivots away from on-trade

Published:  23 March, 2020

On-trade supplier Jascots Wine Merchants has announced it is switching its focus to home-delivery and wholesale retail after sales plummeted from 85% of ‘normal’ to zero in the space of four days.

With the slowdown and subsequent shutdown of the restaurant and bar sector over the past week, the 100% on-trade supplier is the latest to reorientate its business strategy.

Sales ground to a halt on Tuesday 17 after being at 85% of its usual levels on 13 Friday. As a result, the business switched its focus to B2C ‘overnight’ and by 21 Saturday, had a full delivery ready to be sent to “friends, family and self-isolating customers”.

It is also encouraging retailers and wholesalers who might be “overwhelmed or short on stock” to get in touch as the company has “good wine stocks and a fleet of [our] own vans to deliver direct to your shop or warehouse or home".

Managing partner Miles MacInnes said the business’s heart is “breaking for our customers in the hospitality sector who are seeing their businesses and jobs threatened”; and while it will continue to support them, the company has had to pivot temporality to support its 35 full time members of staff.

“We have not let go any one of our 35 people (100% full time) but we need the support of government now to ensure we won’t need to,” said MacInnes.

“We welcome the government’s pledge to do 'whatever it takes' to help during these extraordinary times. If government will immediately suspend duty for at least six months it will help us and other wine businesses like us to protect jobs and preserve our businesses over the challenging weeks and months ahead.”

This isn’t the first supplier we have seen completely pivot from its usual customer base as the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) impacts buying behaviour and way of life.

On Thursday (March 19), large-scale drinks operation LWC announced it would temporarily be switching its 14 depots across the UK to fulfilling direct to consumer orders.

A number of English wineries have also followed suit. Urban producer Blackbook Winery in London is just one of many UK-based wineries that are now focusing on consumer sales, though as Lynsey Verrillo, co-owner of Blackbook points out, some direct to consumer marketing channels are “not as strong as they could be”, with concerns there won’t be enough sales to plug the gap. 

As more companies wrangle for a slice of consumer market share, and as stockpiling plateaus, it is likely we see companies pivoting again away from their usual USPs.

Jascots has said that B2C will “only provide a small proportion of Jascots’ usual work”.

In the meantime, they are also aiming to appeal to retailers and wholesalers that might be short on supplies.