Reynolds Trucks

Source: Reynolds

Reynolds has kept all depots open this time round to aid social distancing

Fruit & vegetable wholesaler Reynolds has ‘flexi-furloughed’ 80% of staff as its hospitality customers are forced to close once again.

Over the next month, more than 500 employees will work on a week on, week off basis across all 10 depots, which will stay open to aid social distancing.

Reynolds anticipates half of its customer base will close under the rules of the second English lockdown, and expects sales to drop to 35% of pre-coronavirus levels.

However, owner Tony Reynolds said he was optimistic the shutdown would not hit the business as hard as it did in the spring, when 95% of its customers closed overnight, resulting in 400 employees being laid off.

The easing of restrictions in Wales and Scotland at the end of this week would help with the redistribution of perishable stock, he said.

Reynolds said £200k worth of goods would be either wasted or donated this month. That compares to some £2m worth of goods being written off in the spring.

“Our customers have learnt so much since last time round,” said Reynolds. “Lots have opted to run delivery services via companies like Deliveroo.”