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Majestic re-ranges and re-merchandises stores

Majestic is re-ranging its stores by cluster and re-merchandising to boost the time store teams are able to spend selling to customers.

Majestic’s re-vamped store in York opened on 22 April 2016

The wine retailer is in the process of revising every store to map the entire estate and ensure that is has the right kind of range for the demographic. It is clustering the stores by size and type, with around a dozen store types identified, Majestic Retail John Colley told db in a recent interview.

“Our stores are massively different across the company and when I joined the business, I discovered that we had the wrong ranges in the wrong types of stores, and we need to get the right range for the customers in that area,” he said.

It appointed Richard Weaver to the enhanced role as buying and merchandising manager following the retirement of buying director Justin Apthorp last November and tasked him to oversee a new merchandising function to revise the portfolio and ensure the right range for the size and type of store.

Every store will carry a core range – around 85% will be the same across the country – but around 15% of the range will be tailored to that particular store, Colley said.

It is also set to revise its interest in parcels, and make these available as part of the ‘non-core’ 15% in the portfolio.

“We want to get stuck into parcels again, which was always part of the heritage of Majestic,” he said. “We’ve got some good stories with our wines, but we are not too big that we can’t access small wineries across the world. We are big enough to be important to them, but also small enough that we can take some fantastic products.”

“We stand out for something quite different and our store teams love selling our wines,” he added.

The company is also looking at introducing ways to make merchandising easier for its in-store teams, and streamlining some of the logistical process with better software ystems and improved technology

It is rolling out simple measures to reduces the time staff need to move stock around, including introducing roller pallets and new shelving units on wheelers that can be moved more easily. These were introduced in the refitted York store following a flood, as well as in converted stores in St Albans, Aylesbury, Cambridge and Norwich, as well as new outlets in Portishead, Herford and Welwyn.

“This is all about taking tasks out of the store so store teas can concentrate on serving customers,” he pointed out. “It is not complicated or expensive, but it is about getting people working on the right things. As Rowan said in November, it is about moving from capex-centric to op-ex centric investment.”

The retailer told db it wants to be ‘The Apple Store’ of Wine, as it revealed it is upping its online ambitions by better syncing the online and off-line experience for customers, and adding named day deliveries. It has also recently launched a new employee share and reward scheme, but giving staff across the entire company a stake in the business.

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