Liverpool drinks maker forced to make job cuts and close US operation

Stewart Hainsworth

Liverpool drinks firm Halewood has closed its American business and announced job cuts in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The firm has also announced senior staff will take a pay cut and costs have been cut across the business.

The company which makes gin and Lambrini says it has been badly hit by the global crisis.

Chief executive Stewart Hainsworth release a statement on the measures being taken.

He said the firm had been “hit very hard financially by the impact of Covid-19”. In particular he singled out the collapse of the on-trade and also the “sizeable downturn” in export sales.

He said: “As a business, Halewood Wines & Spirits remains committed to its successful strategy of building a range of artisanal spirits brands with strong provenance.

“However, like many companies, we’ve been hit very hard financially by the impact of Covid-19. We’ve lost important sales revenue from bars, restaurants and pubs across the UK and the duty-free trade, while also experiencing a sizeable downturn in export sales.

“We’ve taken immediate steps to safeguard jobs and attempt to secure the long-term future of a business founded over 40 years ago. Senior management are taking significant pay cuts and operations have been adjusted to reduce working hours and overheads.”

Mr Hainsworth added “Regrettably the Covid-19 outbreak does mean we are introducing a scheme of voluntary redundancies and the closure of some sites. This includes closure of our operations in the US and downsizing our Australian business.

“We are looking at government measures to attempt to minimise the financial disruption caused by Covid-19 and will continue to take any steps we can to protect jobs and help steer the company through this difficult and uncertain period.”