WTSO Discusses the Coronavirus Pandemic and Status of the Wine Industry

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The leading online wine shop interviews COO Justin Kite to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the wine industry, along with how the company is handling the issue.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many uncertainties in a variety of industries around the world, including the wine community. The creation, sourcing, and distribution processes that go behind every bottle of wine are now compromised due to delays and limitations in the best interest of global safety.

WTSO, a leading online wine shop, has remained open during this time not only to sustain and uphold the business, but to give customers access to wine that it may not be safe for them to get otherwise. In the interest of transparency, WTSO and COO Justin Kite want to communicate with customers about how they are handling the issue and how the Coronavirus is affecting the world of wine.

When asked how the wine industry is changing amid the virus, Kite noted, “Wineries that rely on direct sales through their tasting room or restaurant sales as a major source of revenue have been severely negatively impacted. I'm sure they are now trying to increase their revenue channels of direct-to-consumer shipping and distribution to retailers if possible.”

Ultimately, the United States is in somewhat of a waiting game when it comes to wine. The industry heavily relies on events; and with wineries closing and events being cancelled, it is more difficult to uphold the community. However, wine sales themselves will most likely not be struggling -- many retailers are switching to online platforms and delivery, making it easier for enthusiasts to still enjoy different wines from home.

As an exclusively-online wine store, WTSO has been shipping wine to customers for almost 14 years. During this uncertain time, they are taking precautions to ensure cleanliness and health. “We developed and launched our current plan of action on March 15. All office employees were sent home to work remotely. Strict guidelines were put in place for all logistics and fulfillment employees that were still reporting for work,” Kite said, when asked about how WTSO is handling the situation. “We utilized a secondary facility normally used for storage to run parallel with our main facility. This allowed us to split the work staff in half in each location to allow for better distancing. All employees are given protective masks and gloves and everyone in each facility is required to wear them at all times. All work areas and machinery are disinfected multiple times throughout the day, and a cleaning crew is brought in each night for a thorough cleaning.”

Due to the high volume of online orders, shipping may be delayed during this time. However, WTSO is still prioritizing quick delivery and free shipping options to support customers and friends who are looking to buy wine online.

Ultimately, Kite adds, “The health and safety of our employees is our greatest concern...Thus far we have been extremely fortunate that no one has been ill in either location. If that was to happen, the entire facility would be shut down and any worker there would be subject to quarantine for the requisite amount of time.”

While the future of the industry is not clear, WTSO is making the efforts to keep momentum going this trying time and provide online customers with the affordable bottles they’re looking for.

For more information about WTSO and their offerings, please visit wtso.com or call the Customer Service team at 866-957-2795.

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Julie Blount
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