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Majestic rolls out next day delivery

Majestic is rolling out next day delivery across its online and store service from Wednesday – as revealed by db in June – as it opens it new national fulfilment centre.

John Colley, md of Majestic Commercial said next day and named delivery was “a big step” for the retailer

The specialist wine retailer said this marked a “significant step” in its transformation plan to turn the business around, by introducing more flexible delivery options for its customers, which includes click & collect, named and next day delivery services.

Until now, local stores have delivered wine to consumers, however from this week, around 40% of the online orders will be fulfilled by the new national fulfilment centre (NFC) in Greenford, which is managed by logistics company Wincanton plc. It has been opened purely to cater for online orders, operating independently from its local store delivery service and will be fully operational from this week. The new Greenford NFC is in addition to the company’s existing warehouse in Hemel Hempstead, which opened in June 2014 and is used to replenish the retailer’s 210 stores.

The shared site NFC is part of a five-year partnership with Wincanton, although courier firm Yodel will fulfill the next day delivery service to customer’s homes and the remaining 60% of online orders will still come from Majestic stores and be delivered by its own fleet.
“It will depend what stock is in the local store, the area that it needs to be delivered to, the size of the order and most importantly when it needs to be delivered whether it is from the store or the NFC,” a spokesman explained.
Speaking to db in June, Majestic Retail managing director John Colley explained that the store van system was popular with customers and would continued to be used, albeit supplemented by the NFC. “If a customer wants to use the store vans, it will look at the store inventory, if not it will look at the warehouse inventory. If they wanted named day delivery, it will figure it out,” he said.
Majestic says the move will give staff in stores more time to focus on customer service rather than shifting boxes and organising deliveries and will also give customer access to the full 1,250-strong online range, which includes 400 fine wines. This follows Majestic re-ranging its stores by ‘clusters’ in order to tailor the range to store demographics earlier this year. Currently every store carries a core range of 85% with the remaining 15% tailored to particular store – and customer – types.
Today, he said the move was not only a big step in the “transformation plan”, but would also help support the retailer’s Christmas trading. “We are putting the customer back at the heart of Majestic and can now offer a complete multi-channel experience which will deliver real benefits to our customers, people and therefore our shareholders,” he said.
Majestic is on a mission to “develop an online shopping service which is leading in our sector,” Colley told db in June, adding that the retailer wanted to be “the Apple Store for wine“.

Other changes introduced this year include a price match promise for loyal online customers which ran from August until the end of October, a broader focus on small parcel wine ranges with the addition of dedicated areas in store for ‘WIGIG’ (‘when it’s gone, its gone’) lines, and a new ‘Tasting Club’, a four-tier system of personalized tasting events at its retail stores.

The retailer is one year into its 3-year turnaround plan that has seen it embrace a return to “retail basics”, including scrapping the six bottle minimum, refining the range, cutting the prices on hundreds of single bottles, as well as remerchandising to make it both easier to shop and for store teams to focus on customers.

Releasing its end of year results for 2015/16 in July, Majestic Wine reported “encouraging” progress after seeing its first positive performance in four years, with group sales up 41.3% to £402.1m, despite profits being hit by last year’s acquisition of Naked Wines.  However in September it launched an internal review of its commercial arm after warning that overall profits could drop as much as £4m below expectations for the current financial year. Rowan Gormley admitted it was “disappointing” that two isolated factors (the poorly performing Majestic Commercial and Naked USA) were “distracting from the great progress across the rest of the group”. 

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