Cheers! Wine sales soar as drinkers forced to stay at home

Wines sales have risen dramatically since the coronavirus lockdown.

With people unable to enjoy a drink out they have been buying alcohol from supermarkets, off-licences and online.

Winemaker Chapel Down, based in Kent, has reported a surge in sales.

It’s hoped the extra volume will make up for lost business from closed pubs, bars, theatres and restaurants.

In a trading statement the company said:

“Following the government’s advice to close pubs, theatres and hospitality venues to contain the spread of the virus, we have seen our sales in supermarkets and off licences grow substantially and our on-line sales multiply dramatically as customers seek to continue to enjoy our brands at home.

“It is too early to extrapolate any trends but if the current sales rate continued the off-trade sales and on-line growth of our wines would more than make up for the loss of on-trade wine sales.

“It will certainly leave us with a stronger business and an increased market share in these areas where we see long term growth.”

Chief executive Frazer Thompson said the business was facing “challenging times” but added: “I believe we are in a very strong position to weather the crisis.

“Demand for our brands remains extremely healthy.”

The company said that staff “laid-off” because the cider and beer business is closed would receive 80% of pay.

The board, executive and senior managers have taken salary cuts of 20% to 40%.

The update from Chapel Down comes a day after supermarkets reported a surge in consumer demand.

UK shoppers spent an extra £1.9bn stockpiling groceries in the run-up to the lockdown.




About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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