- Angus Ferguson, MD of Demijohn, shares his response to the Covid-19 outbreak
Subscribe to Speciality Food magazine today for just £19.99/year.subscribe now
“Although our customer numbers have notably decreased over the last couple of weeks by around a third, we are still very much open for business in our York shop and many enthusiastic regulars are making the trip to come and refill their bottles. We are making the most of the mail order side of our business, which has remained buoyant.
“We plan to continue to be open for business as usual in all our outlets, and especially for our mail order services, for as long as feasibly possible.
“Luckily, not much has changed in the way we conduct our day to day business. As a food business our hygiene policy meant we were already running a very clean operation. Staff are required to regularly wash their hands for example before serving customers. Added precautions such as increasing the use of contact card payments can help reduce the chance of transmission of the virus and washing hands immediately after serving a customers are sensible actions and relatively easy to achieve.
“Our main issue is that public avoidance of public spaces, and decreasing visitor numbers in York over the next few months will have a major impact on footfall within the City and therefore our ability to trade successfully in the shop.
“In addition, we are unlikely to be able to conduct many of our planned large scale commercial promotional events throughout the year if more restrictions are forthcoming. So there is a great deal of uncertainty for us as a business in the coming weeks and months.
“Saying this, we are seeing a very positive enthusiasm and demand for our new eco-Concession Store concept by some hugely successful farms shops up and down the UK. Our aim is still to open a new store every month for the remainder of the year, despite the issues surrounding Coronavirus. This will put us in a great position when we all get back to normal. We are going to keep fighting to survive!”