France’s second lockdown coincides with the “biggest month” for wine sales

Monday November 02 2020 by Vitisphere

Jaillance has not taken any steps to restrict payments to the winery’s 220 members and took out a State-guaranteed loan last spring.Jaillance has not taken any steps to restrict payments to the winery’s 220 members and took out a State-guaranteed loan last spring. - Photo credit : Jaillance

The jury is still out over whether the coronavirus is seasonal or not, but one thing for certain is that the second wave of national lockdown measures announced on October 28 by the French President couldn’t come at a worse time for wine sales and will have a huge impact. Jean-Louis Bergès, managing director of the Jaillance co-operative winery, which accounts for 80% of the Clairette de Die appellation, shares his experience.

We don't know for sure the consequences of the new lockdown measures, but we can anticipate what they will be. A strict 4-week [potentially renewable] lockdown period will lead to the same consequences as the spring lockdown - a 30% drop in sales. The consequences will be worsened by the fact that they will not affect minor months [in sales terms], but the biggest months [for business]” explains Bergès, stressing that 40% of the Die co-operative winery’s revenue in France and export markets comes from sales in November and December.

Although the rebound in sales over the summer partially made up for some of the business lost during the spring lockdown, the introduction of a curfew led to an immediate fall in orders, recounts Bergès. At the end of September, Jaillance posted a 12% drop in sales over the first nine months of 2020, and could see its sales fall by at least 20% over the year. “All our peers are in the same boat. No one in the industry at this moment in time has the cash flow to cover a 30% loss in sales”, he warns.

 

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