• Online wine store Getwine.co.za has temporarily closed its website for new orders.
  • This due to an influx of orders to the site during the national lockdown period.
  • According to the sellers, this is a temporary measure to enable them to deal with the backlog of orders due to be delivered once the country enters Level 3 on Monday.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Wine sellers, Getwine.co.za, has temporarily closed its online store to any new orders. This is, according to the site, due to a massive influx of orders during the lockdown period.

"Management has decided to temporarily pause our website to allow ourselves time to work through the order backlog," they said in a statement.

Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, COO Johan Wegner says, while the site remained open to purchases throughout April, orders escalated dramatically since President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Sunday, 24 May that the country would move to Alert Level 3 on 1 June.

Alcoholic drinks will go on legal sale again in South Africa on Monday, after 66 days of prohibition.

Bars, restaurants and taverns will be able to sell booze too, on a takeaway basis.

Distributors will be allowed to start moving booze around in preparation [for sale] from Friday. Previously the transport of alcoholic drinks, even by manufacturers and distributors, had been strictly prohibited. All sales, however, including delivery, are limited to between 09:00 and 17:00, from Monday to Thursday, or not at all.

See also: Booze is back – and bars can also sell it from Monday, though takeaways only

"The rush of orders was beyond Black Friday proportions," says Wegner.

"Our decision was to rather make sure that customers who supported us during the lockdown get their orders timeously and allow shoppers to buy from other wine retailers."

The online store will reopen as soon as all current orders have been attended to.

Getwine.co.za has previously reported that its sales for April were at almost 70% of a year before despite any marketing - and orders from new clients grew by a third. The number increased in May, surpassing last year's turnover before the President's announcement.

"Since then there was a stampede and we are currently more than 400% up on May 2019, and we haven’t been allowed to deliver a single bottle." says Wegner.

Online wine and other liquor sellers have continued to see strong sales during the country's national lockdown. This despite customers knowing that they could only get their orders in Level 3.

Due to an influx of orders, the online store had to shutdown temporarily

Alcohol sellers have been negotiating with their suppliers to ensure for a seamless processing of orders on Monday, 1 June.

"What many people don't realise is that most liquor outlets, including warehouses for online retailers, are empty or almost empty." This is because of bulk buying prior to the lockdown and most were not able to restock their supplies. 

"We are opening on Monday but first we need to receive delivery from our producers so we can start delivering to customers." Wegner says that they hope to start delivering from Monday. These orders will be from stock that is available from their warehouses. The rest will be dispatched as the stock arrives.

"Our couriers that handle all our deliveries outside of the Western Cape, which is 50% of our business, are ready to go".

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