– Mark Gmur, CWE
On February 25th, I received communication from Shanken News Daily (SND) that they would run an interview with me about our success in the On-Premise national account channel. The subject of the interview was about a recently discovered statistic; our portfolio had breached one million cases of wine sold through national accounts in the past three years. We thought that was really impressive, and they did too.Fast forward to March 17th, just three weeks later, but with the COVID-19 Crisis now dominating all daily news, I received another outreach from SND. Now that the world had changed, could I please make an additional statement on the COVID-19 crisis and how it has affected business. In such a short out time – 20 days to be exact, we went from “on top of the world,” to truly being unwilfully placed into “crisis mode.”With the closure of all restaurant chains and the hard nosedive in travel business affecting hotels and airports, our business has evaporated before our eyes in a matter of two to three weeks. Our projected losses are in the 90% range in the coming weeks and months while we live out this nightmare.Being tied exclusively to the On-Premise world and as a small business, we are taking this head on, with full impact, the worst-case scenario, and enduring the same pain and hardship as the hospitality industry. There is nowhere to hide, nowhere to run from the devastation this is wreaking on our business.If this very dark cloud has a silver lining, it is that off premise retail is still doing comparatively well, as consumers flock to retail for provisions, so at least our supply partners have a channel to help them fight through. I am working with all our supply partners to seek their help and assistance to manage this crisis with us. We are planning on supporting our national customers, with whatever tools we can muster to help them in the To Go and Delivery categories, and while we are “hunkering down” we plan to do more online “cloud tastings” than ever before.
Our thoughts and prayers are for everyone affected by the crisis, we wish for everyone’s safety and health, and for us all to have a speedy recovery.