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Daniel Lambert announces closure and calls on other agents to follow suit

Published:  23 March, 2020

Daniel Lambert Wines has become one of the first wine agents to announce it will be closing down due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. 

The Welsh-based agent and importer said in a tweet that it would temporarily be closing down its regular services from 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday), at the same time calling on other agents to follow suit.

“As an employer I must put the health of my staff before trade,” said owner and MD Daniel Lambert, in the tweet posted yesterday afternoon. 

“If the truth be told I hope the other UK wine agencies follow suit. There is enough wine in the system and people must come first. But each MD of each must make the tough choice I made last night. I actually feel relieved I have made the choice to shut,” he added.

“My work force are all around 50, so if one of get Covid-19 it's not going to end well for any of us or our families,” he told Harpers, adding he was calling on other wine suppliers to follow suit because “one should not have to work during this time, and younger people may feel obligated”. 

The business had given customers a chance to “re-stock if they so choose, but I fully expect the UK to be shut down anyway”, said Lambert. 

Hayward Bros was quick to commend the move as it tweeted: “Brave move Daniel. Well done”, with the general reaction also “very supportive”, said Lambert, “bar one who actually complained”.  

Although the closure would obviously result in lost income, Daniel Lambert Wines was “in a good place overall so we can weather the storm”, he added. 

“But this closure is not really about the business it’s about doing the right thing for my employee and all our families.”

Meanwhile elsewhere in the industry on-trade operators are increasingly announcing measures to find alternative revenue routes in light of, and even before, Boris Johnson’s announcement Friday afternoon that all UK pubs, bars and restaurants had to close from midnight. 

On Thursday, independent drinks wholesaler LWC Drinks said it was temporarily switching to a Business to Consumer (B2C) model, with the hospitality trade-focused business now accepting consumer orders to maintain business continuity during the coronavirus outbreak. 

This morning, on-trade specialist Jascots announced it is turning to home-delivery and  wholesale.