Drinks firm to close HQ and shift jobs to Chorley site
Drinks firm Halewood Wines and Spirits which has a site in Chorley, is set to cut jobs and close its head office in Huyton.
The firm which has the Whitley Neil Gin, Crabbies Lambrini and Hawkshead Brewery brands, is to transfer some roles over to the Chorley office and look for warehousing space within 15 miles of Huyton.
It has been hit hard by the pandemic and reduced air travel, which cut sales to passengers. In March the firm closed its US office in Miami and UK staff had to take pay cuts.
Now the firm is to close its bottling lines in Liverpool is looking to outsource the Lambrini operation to a contract packer, and move the production and bottling of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer to its manufacturing site in Chorley.
A spokesman said: “As a business, we are committed to our ongoing strategy of building a range of premium artisanal spirits with strong provenance.
“However, the impact of COVID-19 and the recent abolition of duty dilution has had a major impact on our sales mix, meaning our carbonated drinks have become less profitable.
“The Logistics and Customer Service teams will have the opportunity to transfer to the new warehouse location.
“Employees at the site in Huyton are being offered the chance to apply for voluntary redundancy.
"Despite the impact that Covid-19 has had on the business and the industry as a whole, we are still seeing strong UK and international growth for our core premium artisanal spirits brands, including Whitley Neill Gin, the UK’s number 1 premium gin brand, the fast growing Dead Man’s Fingers range of rums, JJ Whitley vodka and Crabbie whisky, and we will continue to focus on building these brands.
"Recently our portfolio of spirits won 44 medals from gold to bronze at the renowned IWSC 2020 (International Wines and Spirits Competition)”.