Business Strategy Tweaks in Response to Pandemic

In business, staying “ahead of the game” can be essential even in normal times. Perhaps now “staying ahead” is more like not falling too far behind while many wineries across the country look to adjust business strategies to continue to move product on to consumers.

Penns Woods Winery has started to formulate a plan to make use of ​its staff in other ways​ than before​ to keep ​the Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania company operating​ while ​employing ​its staff in some function​.​

“We have combed through our business and forecasted either new positions, altered current positions and discussed with our staff our overall goals in thriving with all of the massive changes happening around us,” explained co-owner and Marketing Director Carley Mack. “We are keeping all vibes positive and molding with the ever-changing climate around us.

“We see this time as a challenge, but are working together, with open minds and a whole lot of hope.”

Penns Woods ​can sell ​its wines out of ​the tasting room ​while offering consumers contact​-​free pick​ ​up​ along with​ local delivery​ in a 15-mile radius or shipping with an attached flat fee. It’s also available in off-premise locations in and around Philadelphia.

​That doesn’t mean there haven’t been cutbacks. Mack said they did have to lay off all part-time and event staff members. ​

​”We are working with a small and mighty crew,” she said, noting that they have been filling phone and online orders and keeping up with a very crucial social media presence and website.

The winery has initiated a more rigorous and detailed online programming to keep current customers involved and active in what she calls the “Penns Woods Community” while hopes are to gain new customers even though they cannot visit the winery at this time. Penns Wood has ramped up online presence by linking a lot of its platforms together along with bringing back its blog.

“This has allowed us to release featured articles spotlighting our staff members and wine club members — discussing their favorite wines, foods, their quarantine activities, and more,” Mack said. “We also send this information in our monthly e-newsletter.”

Interactively, Penns Woods now releases a ‘ quarantWINE’ of the week to pair with a local cheese that the winery also sells.

The wine is released on Sunday with a 10% savings for a week. On that Wednesday the winery’s in-house sommelier, Raechel, hosts a tasting live on Facebook and Instagram at 3 p.m.

“People can tune in … to learn about the varietal and the process we use to make the wine,” Mack said. “She also answers any questions people may have.”

On Fridays the winery hosts a virtual wine club happy hour.

“Any of the 600-plus members can login and catch up with each other and our staff to chat about anything from the wines they have been drinking to their favorite Netflix series,” Mack said.

Photo Courtesy Penns Woods Winery Facebook

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