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The government has confirmed off-licences and shops licensed to sell alcohol have been added to its list of “essential businesses” and can remain open during the coronavirus lockdown measures.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed an announcement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which extends the deadline for filling all accounts by three months for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19.

The drinks industry is currently awaiting guidance on what classifies as an “essential” business, following the Government’s new guidelines yesterday, whereby all shops selling “non-essential goods” will be closed down with immediate effect. 

Majestic Wines closed all of its stores on Sunday and is allowing only click & collect orders today as it attempts to deal with “unprecedented demand” for its wines from all over the country. Stores will open again from tomorrow (Tuesday23 March).

Jancis Robinson has collated a list of nearly 250 wine retailers who will deliver to consumers who are self-isolating. 

Majestic Wine has announced it is “reaching out to the HR team” at Carphone Warehouse to see if the wine retailer can find new roles for any of the 2000 employees affected by the closure of the 531 standalone stores.

Diageo has pledged a package of support for the drinks industry as it faces unprecedented challenges from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Britain’s supermarket retailers are working on contingency measures to ease demand pressures, as panic buying across the country escalates due to coronavirus fears. 

Three in five UK drinks retailers fear their businesses will be materially impacted by consumers staying indoors due to coronavirus fears.

Lidl has announced it is building its first pub, which will also include an in-store off-licence. 

The Good Wine Shop is opening its fourth shop this Spring in Teddington, South West London.

Administrators remain hopeful that they can sell a significant number of stores from the former EFB Retail empire to their preferred bidder within the next month.

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) has come into force in Wales.

Asda has slashed the price of Mumm Champagne by a third in case anyone decides to celebrate an engagement on February 29.

A campaign is being launched to remind shoppers and retailers about the start of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Wales.

PASS, the scheme that audits and accredits proof of age schemes to assure retailers of which cards they can accept, is asking for views on how digital proof of age should be presented and verified.

Majestic Wine has appointed retail veteran Alex Jablonowski as its new chief financial officer.

Drinkly has secured £250,000 via crowdfunding and it has announced plans to accelerate its growth to become “the UK’s number one on-demand drinks delivery provider”.

Majestic has reported “record-breaking” sales of low and no-alcohol beers and wines this January, up 312% and 52% respectively against the same month in 2019.

Waitrose, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and The Whisky Exchange were just some of the retailers called to the stage at this year’s Drinks Retailing Awards.

Jeroboams, the London-based wine retailer, has reported a good start to the year bolstered by a strong Burgundy En Primeur campaign, and leading on from positive results for the 2019 festive season.

Proposals for a new rural headquarters for Kent-based wine merchants, The Vinorium, have been granted planning consent.

Alcohol education charity Drinkaware set up stalls in 47 Asda stores across the UK this month in a bid to help shoppers drink responsibly.

Harvey Nichols is adding a pre-mix cocktail to its own-label range in time for Valentine’s Day.

Majestic Wine managing director Josh Lincoln and chief customer officer Natalie Thng have left the business as part of a boardroom shakeup.

The Whisky Exchange will open its eagerly anticipated new store on the doorstep of London’s Borough Market by the end of the month.

The Whisky Exchange’s third store, which is set to open this month, will feature more than 100 spirits and wines produced in Britain to reflect the community’s support for local and artisanal products.

Harvey Nichols has added an Espresso Martini Cocktail to its own-label collection of pre-mixed cocktails, following the success of the first three variants.