The ban on alcohol sales in South Africa will be lifted on 1 June, and alcohol sellers expect a large spike in business.
Until 1 June, the sale of alcohol in South Africa has been prohibited as part of the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
This will change on 1 June, when South Africa will move from alert level 4 to alert level 3 – at which time the sale of alcohol will be allowed between 09:00 and 17:00 from Monday to Thursday.
MyBroadband spoke with alcohol sellers about their expectations ahead of 1 June.
TOPS at Spar
TOPS acknowledged that the lockdown has had an impact on its short-term cash flow.
However, it hopes that it will be able to make up for these shortfalls “fairly quickly” once it reopens under level 3, and over the remainder of the year.
It said it is expecting huge demand when its stores reopen on 1 June, but believes it is prepared to cater to this.
“We are anticipating heavy demand from 1 June and are ready to meet that with high levels of quality and service excellence, matched by high levels of hygiene and safety,” said TOPS.
“We will comply fully with all the protocols set, notably social distancing and limits on numbers of people allowed in store.”
“Our number one priority will be to ensure the safety of staff and customers, especially taking into account the initial limited trading times,” TOPS added.
It said it is comfortable that it can cater to increased demand for its products. “We have stock on hand and our supply chains are functioning well,” said TOPS.
It added that it had focused on business continuity throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, meaning each of its stores has endeavoured to retain staff despite financial challenges.
Cybercellar said that its position as a digital store has made it easier to keep its cash flow relatively stable.
“As on online operation we’ve been lucky enough to take pre-orders that we can complete now once we reach level 3 – something that has definitely helped,” said Cybercellar.
It said the lockdown has hurt the physical retail and hospitality sector harder than digital stores like itself.
Cybercellar added that it has taken a variety of measures to ensure that it is ready for a “busy opening of deliveries”.
These measures include:
- An increased warehouse team.
- Taking on more warehouse area to process orders in a safe manner – in accordance with regulations.
- Increasing its local and national delivery partners to help with the outflow of orders.
“We are already dealing with the many pre-orders and will be ready for the busy opening of deliveries at level 3,” said Cybercellar.
Preventing mass beer dumping
These statement comes after South African Breweries (SAB) began the process of dumping beer at the beginning of May after legislation limited the amount of alcohol it was allowed to keep onsite.
Regulations also meant it could not transport beer to its depots, meaning that it was facing the prospect of destroying 400 million bottles of beer.
However, on 12 May, it was announced that SAB had been given permission to transport its beer to its depots – although it is believed that the company had already disposed of at least 25,000 litres of beer before being given this permission.