UK wine retailer to stockpile up to $10 million in extra bottles ahead of Brexit

Is Brexit going to drive us all to drink? Fear not -- one of the UK's leading wine retailers is taking preca...

Posted: Nov 23, 2018 2:37 AM
Updated: Nov 23, 2018 2:37 AM

Is Brexit going to drive us all to drink? Fear not -- one of the UK's leading wine retailers is taking precautions, revealing plans to stockpile millions of pounds' worth of extra bottles in case the country's departure from the European Union disrupts supplies.

Majestic Wine announced plans on Thursday to increase its UK wine stocks by between $6.5 million and $10 million early next year to avoid delays in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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This equates to between 1 million and 1.5 million additional bottles of wine from EU nations, including Spain, France and Italy.

"Majestic is a company that has been stockpiling wine for 35 years," the company told CNN.

"We have an inventory of around £100 million and have brought forward £5 to £8 million of additional inventory as a sensible measure to ensure that we're flexible in our supply chain and ready for any challenge Brexit may throw at us."

Majestic's chief executive, Rowan Gormley, said in the company's latest financial statement that it is "planning for tough times," adding that increased investment was the "route to a more profitable future."

Majestic's announcement comes as concern grows that a "hard" Brexit would result in chaos and severe delays at UK ports and airports, threatening time-sensitive supply chains.

The owner of Cadbury's chocolate, Mondelēz International, said in September that it had begun stockpiling ingredients ahead of the Brexit deadline next March.

"Like the whole of the food-and-drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products, as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer," Hubert Weber, the president of Mondelēz Europe, told The Times newspaper. "However, we are also preparing for a hard Brexit."

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