British wine seller Majestic is the latest company to outline its plans to stockpile goods to prepare for a messy exit from the EU, announcing it will reserve an extra £8 million (US$10.3 million) of wine.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on November 23, 2018

The company will procure between 1 and 1.5 million additional bottles of wine from EU nations including France, Italy and Spain.

“We have an inventory of around £100 million and have brought forward £5 to £8 million of additional inventory as a sensible measure to ensure that we’re flexible in our supply chain and ready for any challenge Brexit may throw at us,” the company told CNN.

It said the move would “mitigate any potential supply chain Brexit disruption in March 2019”. CEO Rowan Gormley told Sky program Ian King Live the company would reserve “an entire Olympic swimming pool” worth of wine.

Automobile, food and pharma companies stockpiling goods amid Brexit fears

Earlier this year, Mondelez International (the parent company of Cadbury) announced it was stockpiling chocolates and biscuits in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit causing havoc for UK companies importing goods from EU member nations.

Similarly, catering giant Compass, which provides lunches to many schools across the UK, said it would have to start gradually stockpiling ingredients ahead of the transition. Pharma giant Sanofi will also reserve up to 14 weeks worth of medicines to deal with the transition.

Aston Martin is stockpiling car parts and has even said it is prepared to fly car components to the UK to circumvent anticipated disruptions at ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

There are even fears that the UK is running out of food warehousing space.

These decisions to stockpile goods underline the massive commercial uncertainty that still exists around Brexit, particularly the possibility of merchandise being held up in ports due to confusion over which laws apply.

May still hopeful of a smooth Brexit from the EU

Theresa May remains confident, however, that a trade deal will be completed well in advance of the 29 March deadline. Last week, she secured cabinet support for a draft plan but the proposal did not quash unrest from hard Brexiteers.

The Liberal Democrats responded to the news of Majestic stockpiling wine by saying they had “fought this botched Brexit from the beginning.”

“Theresa May’s deal is an absolute mess, and will be bad for the economy and bad for jobs,” the party’s account tweeted.

The UK government has also agreed in principle to a political declaration which sets out how trade between the UK and EU will work. The declaration is not legally binding.

Header image credit: Kelsey Knight (@kelsoknight)