Merchants in dire freights

05 September, 2008

Many retailers affected as major delivery company is closed down

The collapse of the Amtrak delivery business last week has caused problems for many merchants who relied on the company's Winetrak delivery service.

Deliveries have been disrupted and retailers

forced to find new couriers, which do not always offer the same level of insurance as had been offered by Winetrak, which has been closed by its administrators with the loss of 900 jobs.

Oddbins was one of

its larger clients

and the situation has created a headache for many independents such as Fareham Wine Cellar in Hampshire, wh ich relies on mail -order for 50% of his business and was a Winetrak customer.

Owner Dominic Lockyer said: "The first we found out about it was on Tuesday when we tried to send some wine. Trying to find a new courier is a pain because no one wants to insure wine any more. Business Post won't insure against losses or breakages and we've been in touch with DHL , who will only deliver to business addresses, and UPS won't deliver

sparkling wine.

An Oddbins spokesman added: "Following the Amtrak collapse, there were a small number of

orders that were affected. We are in the process of contacting

customers to

reschedule deliveries.

"The disruption to our customers has been minimal, as a contingency was quickly put in place . We are confident that in most cases outstanding

orders will be completed within the specified

timescale. Future

orders will not be affected

."

One of the

joint

administrators from Ernst & Young said: "Amtrak has found trading in the current economic climate challenging. It is a business led by consumer demand and as consumer spending power has weakened, Amtrak's business has suffered."




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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