Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Shock news to me that beer wholesaler Waverley TBS have gone into administration, but judging by some of the comments on the Morning Advertiser's article it seems that those in the trade have seen this coming for some time.
When my wife and I first took over our real-ale off-licence, The Beer Seller, as Waverley TBS were then known, went out of their way to assist us. We had a visit from their local rep who arranged for all our beer lines to be replaced, foc. We also received lots of point of sale, plus other promotional material. The company ran promotions on cask ale every month, which were often geared to the season or to sporting events and other occasions. On a more personal note, much to my wife's disapproval, I acquired numerous items of beer-related clothing such as T-shirts, rugby shirts etc as a result of buying multiple casks. Their tele-sales girls were always courteous and extremely helpful, and their draymen were invariably reliable and largely on time, (they would always call and let me know if they were likely to be late).
Personally I am sad to learn this news, and feel very sorry for anyone whose job might be under threat as a result of this action. It is nearly six years since I last dealt with the company and there have been a lot of changes since then. They had already acquired their new moniker, (Waverley The Beer Seller), having been bought by Scottish & Newcastle from former owners, Bulmers, but the changes introduced by the new regime had not really begun to take effect by the time we came to sell our business. Judging by some of the comments on the Morning Advertiser site, it seems Waverley stopped being a specialised supplier, catering to a niche market, and instead went headlong into a battle with other major distributors trying to compete on well-known and widely distributed brands.
As I said earlier, I have been out of the trade for too long now to have my ear to the ground and really know what is going on, but I can't help thinking that this news spells, in its own way, yet another nail in the coffin of the great institution that is the British pub!