Just read an interesting article from the Spectator about Constellation. I had read last week about how much they've slipped this quarter over last, and how they've been restructuring. I've heard first hand what is happening over there and I'm definitely happy to be where I am.
All companies have been hit hard by this recession. That's an understatement, I know. I did want to just quickly comment that though re-orgs, layoffs and selling off brands may quickly change the bottom line, making shareholders happy, the long term is just a shift in thinking: back to basics. An awesome blog post on this comes from John Corcoran in his Think Wine Marketing blog. His blog is a great read and I learn a ton of new stuff every time I get the notice on Facebook.
Though companies need to make immediate changes to help their business financially, in a year, those positions that were let go will be re-posted and the team will fill in again. I weathered the storm of numerous layoffs at my last company and watched how everything came back around. The departments grew after time and were the same as they were before the layoffs had happened. Restructuring only works when you really dive deeply into how your organization is setup and try to make correct choices instead of haste ones.
Value the employees you have, assess your business REGULARLY, review your org charts, hire selectively, and even if you grow fast, really think about how you set your company up to support all that extra work from all those extra sales.
As for wine back-to-basics, this is the time to truly research wine consumers, find out what they want, what they drink, and where they're going. Invest in this. When you understand who your current and potential customers are, you're ahead of the game and have every point of differentiation needed to surpass your competitors.