Majestic Wine to open new stores to boost post lockdown growth

Nick Gladding
Senior Retail Analyst
@RetailAnalysis

Date : 30 July 2020

The UK's largest wine specialist, Majestic Wine, has confirmed plans for future growth with a strategy that blends store openings and e-commerce.

Online sales boom through lockdown

During the lockdown when Majestic was unable to open its stores, it experienced an influx of over 150,000 customers using its delivery service operating from local stores. Online sales surged 300% in May and June, though this growth incurred significant extra costs and came as its Commercial arm and Calais stores saw a drastic reduction in business.  The average bottle price rose by 11% over the period.

10% sales growth target

Looking ahead, stores remain key to Majestic's strategy with the business seeing the service, tastings and specialist knowledge offered by its store teams as a crucial differentiator from supermarket rivals. Two new openings have been confirmed for later this year - Henley and Beckenham - and more new sites are planned for 2021. The retailer has committed to entirely refresh its range and grow its customer base. A new website and investments in tills and systems are also planned. Collectively these initiatives should help Majestic reach a new target of increasing sales by 10% over five years and reverse a long decline in its profits.

A unique opportunity for Majestic

Owned by US investment Fortress since the break up of Naked and Majestic plc last year, Majestic believes the new strategy will provide long term stability for the business. Commenting on developments CEO John Colley said: “There is still absolutely a role for bricks and mortar wine retail in this country, particularly when backed up by a first rate range and the right focus with our hugely experienced and trained store colleagues. When you couple that with a leading online proposition, you have a unique position. The recent unprecedented situation has shown what a special business Majestic is, with more customers than ever before discovering the service, expertise and range we have to offer in our stores – even when our doors were closed.”