'We pride ourselves at The Wine Society in always doing the right thing. I believe strongly that we are doing the right thing in this instance,' said CEO Steve Finlan in a statement released today.
Any customers trying to order wine through the cooperative will be automatically directed to his statement, outlining the reasons behind the decision. It comes as customers turn to delivery services in favour of shops as the government enforces 'stay at home' measures. But for Finlan, staff come first.
'I have taken the decision to stop taking new orders and also to stop making deliveries with immediate effect,' said Finlan in the statement.
'The prime minister’s statement was very clear that the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
'I wholeheartedly support the need to do this and as a result we need our employees to stay at home. Many of our employees are already working from home, but this latest development means that our warehouse and transport operations will now be suspended.
'Many of you will be disappointed and some may not agree with our decision, but it is simply impossible for us to argue that it is worth putting our employees at risk in order to deliver a non-essential service. I believe that this is the responsible action to take right now and I hope that most of you will agree.'
Any orders pending from The Wine Society have been postponed. Services lines will not be in operation today, but will reopen tomorrow, although Finlan asks that people do not contact them.
While the website currently displays the statement, changes are currently being made that will allow its members and non-members to access content and use the community pages.