After the positive response to its Business Update and virtual Pub Quiz at the ‘Stay Inn’ in June, VOW was quick to bring the industry together again with a further update and Virtual Horse Racing on Friday evening (3rd July).
Around 200 suppliers and resellers heard from VOW Managing Director, Adrian Butler who shared a broad-ranging update of the wholesaler’s progress through the pandemic. After a strong start to the year, VOW had seen business tracking up by more than 6.5 per cent at the end of March, only for April to fall dramatically as lockdown hit. However, after a 42 per cent drop in April, May had seen a recovery to only a 23 per cent decline and June has seen that decline reduce to below 20 per cent.
According to Adrian, there were definite green shoots of recovery, and he highlighted that whilst some ranges, in particular paper, were still way off their traditional levels, there had been really strong growth in cleaning, PPE, infection control and home working ranges. The construction and retail sectors have bounced back strongly, and others are following suit. As a result, the warehouse is operating 7 days a week, with the number of lines being picked in the ADC now 50 per cent higher than in May and back to over 50,000 per day.
Steve Haworth, EVO CEO added that the position for VOW is “ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage.” He added, “I would encourage people to be cautiously optimistic.”
Following a lively Q&A session, it was off to the races with many of the punters entering into the spirit of the event, not only by enjoying the Gin & Tonic parcels that VOW had sent out earlier in the week but by donning their flat caps, top hats and fascinators.
The racing was for virtual money, which much have been a disappointment to dealer, Stuart Edgar of CBS, who turned £250 into almost £9,000 in just 4 races.
The real money was saved for the BOSS Business Supplies Charity. BOSS CEO Amy Hutchinson updated those attending on the great work that the industry’s charity has been doing to support those in need, including those affected by Covid19. She invited donations to the charity via VOW’s just giving page and almost £3,500 was donated on the night. For anyone who wishes to add to this, the link to donate is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vow-wholesale