Jimmy’s Wines and Spirits received 10 times the amount of orders it normally receives in a day yesterday, after the company said it received permission from the government Wednesday to deliver its goods.
But that permission was abruptly stripped from the company yesterday after complaints rolled in, Jimmy’s Executive Sales and Marketing Manager Wellington Seymour told Guardian Business.
Attorney General Carl Bethel told this paper there was no approval for liquor sales made by the competent authority, which is responsible for amending the rules of the emergency orders now in place.
Seymour said that on March 25, Jimmy’s was given permission in a letter from “government”. Another letter from “the same” government office then arrived at the company’s headquarters yesterday afternoon revoking Wednesday’s permission.
“I’m looking at the letter now from…let’s say from the government, dated March 25, giving us permission to proceed with one aspect of our business, and that is making deliveries from door-to-door to clients,” Seymour said.
“So we embarked on that after we got the authorization. We mobilized, put a team together, organized a list that would be user-friendly, put it on social media, came to our airport industrial park location and the response was overwhelming and extremely tremendous.
“In the middle of making and taking orders and making deliveries this afternoon, we got a letter from the same place revoking the permission that they gave us yesterday.
“We are extremely perturbed by it.
“We understood when the government had the initial curfew order and they shut us down without notice. We understood how that happened.
“I believe it (the permission) was revoked because certain parties complained about it.”
Seymour said when the company received the authorization Wednesday, they mobilized staff to get things ready for their delivery service. And midday had to stop the work of those employees and apologize to clients who had already placed orders and paid.
Social media was abuzz with the news that Jimmy’s was making liquor deliveries, and at least one customer revealed on Facebook that she had received her order by 12:30 p.m.
But by 1:45 p.m., when Guardian Business first got in contact with someone at Jimmy’s, the customer service representative explained: “We’re no longer doing deliveries.”
Commonwealth Brewery Limited told this paper yesterday that it appealed to government to allow it to put in place protocols that would adhere to the social distancing rules so that they could continue to sell their products.
However, the request was denied.
Seymour said their businesses are simply responding to customers’ needs.
“The amount of calls that we got, it was incredible,” said Seymour.
“A lot of people are looking for their glass of wine, or their glass of vodka or whatever, to take the edge off in the time of this extremely unusual crisis.”
Seymour said since the passage of Hurricane Dorian, which destroyed some of the company’s operation on Grand Bahama, to the start of the COVID-19 threat, Jimmy’s has not had to let go of any of its staff.
“That can’t last forever,” he said.