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New Horizons Q&A: Paul Jenkins, Caprice Holdings

Published:  04 January, 2021

With an end game in sight with the vaccine in 2021, we speak to members of the trade about their forecasts and plans for the year ahead.

We continue our series with Paul Jenkins, purchasing director, Caprice Holdings.

Given everything that’s going on, from Covid to Brexit, what are your three predictions for the next 12 months with regard to the trade?

Given the year we’ve all experienced in 2020 I’m done making predictions for the future. I do, however, have hopes…. I hope we don’t loose more great businesses and I hope the Covid-19 vaccine allows our great industry to recover and re-group in 2021.

This is an uncertain future for all concerned – when you and your team sit around the table what conversations are you having?

All of us have had concerns this past year – be they personal or professional. However, our focus has remained on delivering an experience for the guest that sets the business apart from its competitors. For us, this manifests itself through having an excellent set of supply partners – supporting our revenue driving initiatives and keeping costs in check. Having a very simple, well defined purpose has really helped the team focus on what matters rather than becoming distracted by events over which we have no control.

Looking ahead, what lasting impact will there be from Covid on your business?

Difficult to tell at present but the hospitality and wine trades are full of some very bright, entrepreneurial people. I am sure we will bounce back quickly.

When do you think business might get close to something resembling ‘normal’?

I’d hope to see the trade returning to something like normal by summer 2021.

During times of operating during the pandemic, have customer drinking habits changed and, if so, how?

The biggest single difference we noted in customer drinking habits was during Eat Out to Help Out when we witnessed guests taking their £10 Treasury-sponsored discounts and investing that spend in better wines.

What are your biggest concerns post-Brexit?

My greatest concern is that the UK will loose its priority market status with European winemaking countries. We need to be an attractive export market for European wine. Barriers to trade will not help.

How do you feel the trading environment is going to play out post-Brexit?

I am positive about the future. It couldn’t get much worse for the trade than it is currently!

Quickfire questions:

New versus Old World?

Old World.

Red, white or rose?


Screw top or cork?

Not fussed. Use the right closure for the right wine.

Bottle versus box?

Bottle – there is something undefinably brilliant about the combination of glass, weight, shape and label.

Still versus sparkling?