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Live update: Day seven - Olympics deliveries running well

Published:  01 August, 2012

Previous fears of delivery chaos continue to appear unfounded for drinks retailers and suppliers in the UK, and news reports state many businesses in London are suggesting the Olympics have actually "deterred" visitors.

Previous fears of delivery chaos continue to appear unfounded for drinks retailers and suppliers in the UK, and news reports state many businesses in London are suggesting the Olympics have actually "deterred" visitors.

Olympics day seven - live update:

Katherine Larsen, head sommelier at D&D's Orrery restaurant in Marylebone, told Harpers deliveries continue to run smoothly, with overnight deliveries "working well". She said Orrery is making gains from Olympic visitors coming to the restaurant, but is losing trade from regulars. She reported that sales of wine are "more or less the same". "It's pretty much business as usual," she said.

Olympics day six - live update:

Christoper Piper, chairman of south England supplier Christopher Piper Wines, told Harpers: "With regard to our deliveries in to London, the whole system has been working perfectly." Piper added that deliveries, which have been scheduled throughout the night, "have been easier than normal".

Olympics day five - live update:

Despite fears the London 2012 Olympics would bring chaos to drinks deliveries across the capital, reports so far suggest traffic is less than normal and supplies are getting through to both on and off-trade outlets across the city.

Jo Davy, marketing manager at Davy's Wine Bars, that operates over 25 venues across London, has been making overnight deliveries and reports logistically all is running smoothly, but said business itself is "well down" as regular clientele avoid the city.

"In relation to supplies we've been making all our deliveries over night since July 23 to avoid the congestion in central London. This has been working well for our own bars and restaurant as well as our other wholesale clients. Large deliveries to our headquarters in Greenwich were co-ordinated to ensure they arrived before the start of the games and smaller deliveries have continued despite the changes in road layout to Greenwich.

"We were warned to prepare for severe disruption and the preparation before the games has paid off. First indications are that our own wine bar and restaurant business is going to be well down over the games. We are winning in a few locations but the regular clientele have generally vanished. We will remain ahead of last year for the year to date but will have some catching up to do to hit targets."

Major suppliers and distributors are reporting business as normal as the expected transport problems around London 2012 have failed to materialise. James Franklin, head of on-trade sales at Corney & Barrow, said:  "Night-time deliveries are working well. Our customers have been flexible and organised in making arrangements for taking overnight deliveries so it has gone smoothly so far."

He added: "In the week preceding the Olympics we received bigger-than-usual orders indicating customers were stocking up in advance as advised; generally we found that our communication campaign was successful and customers have been proactive about considering alternative delivery arrangements through the Olympics.

"Having planned for the worst case scenario, with jammed roads, we are also experiencing pretty normal day delivery schedule. Having said that, until now the big-volume events have been outside of London or in Greenwich, towards the end of this week we may feel more pressure on the roads in the daytime. We started our night deliveries almost a week in advance of the games which meant everything could settle down before the start, so no hiccups to speak of so far." In terms of business he said it was "still a little too early to judge" but it was "looking good".

Regional distributors looking to bring supplies into London are also faring well. Craig Adams of Heritage Wine, which supplies restaurants and bars throughout London from its Bristol base, told Harpers: "So far road traffic seems to be lighter than normal for both getting in and out, as well as driving around central London. It would appear most Londoners have chosen now as the time to get away; so while the pavements are packed with tourists and ticket holders making their way to the various events in town, road traffic has melted away ... a  rather strange feeling."

Olympics day four - live update:

John Charnock, managing director of Jascots Wine Merchants, said: "We have been planning this for many months now but I am still surprised how smoothly it is all going."

He added: "We have completed four nights of deliveries all over London and have not had a single hitch. Our drivers are reporting that traffic is relatively light and every single one of our clients, including pubs, restaurants and hotels, have been there on time and welcomed us with open arms. It is a very practical demonstration of partnership in action and we really feel like part of the same team."

Charnock said 68% of Jascots' most valued London-based on-trade clients are accepting night-time deliveries, but less than a third of those are actually mandated do so because of the Olympic Route Network. "I have been really impressed with how the majority of our clients have committed to the whole concept of night-time deliveries," he said.

It's very much as case of "business as usual" over at Bibendum. Bob Smyllie, operations director, said: "It is a case of so far, so good, as far as logistics in London are concerned. Deliveries to Olympic venues are running smoothly and those to the on-trade are also going well.



"We began night-time deliveries to some customers last week and there have been no access or security issues so far. The majority of our customers seem to be very comfortable with our short-term arrangements and it is very much a case of business as usual (or as usual as the restrictions will allow)."



He added: "In terms of transport issues beyond our control, delivery vehicles appear to be navigating the capital with no major hold ups or disruption. Our strategy was always to complete as many deliveries as possible earlier than usual and ensure our vehicles can leave busy London roads before lunchtime."


At Enotria, customer services manager Nick Corker said deliveries had been "as smooth as silk", with none of the drivers reporting any hitches. "As with everyone, we were expecting it to be chaotic, so we have made sure we have gone that extra mile to make sure everything is going to plan - and it has."



Deliveries have so far gone smoothly for Liberty Wine, according to managing director David Gleave MW. "We've had a few hiccups, but nothing serious," he told Harpers. " Most of our deliveries are going out between midnight and 5am, so we haven't had a problem getting stock to customers.



"The roads are pretty clear in most of town. On the whole, it has been, up until now, very easy. It is worth saying that a lot of work was done beforehand by Liberty and our customers to ensure that everything was organised, and this has helped make it easy."



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