Could Majestic Wine sell all of its stores?By Edith Hancock
Rumours that wine retailer Majestic is selling its entire 200-store portfolio have started to resurface.
Majestic’s board have appointed investment bank Rothschild to look for potential buyers for the company’s brand and some 200 stores.
City sources told Sky News that private equity firms have been approached over the course of this month to see if there is any interest in Majestic’s retail and commercial businesses.
A spokesperson for the retailer told the drinks business that it was looking into “a range of options.”
“‘As announced in March, this is just part of that process.”
The suggestion comes after Majestic announced in March that it will close stores and rebrand as Naked Wine as it concentrates on its online business, despite CEO Gormley insisting the recently transformed Majestic business had “the potential to be a long-term winner”.
Last month Rowan Gormley, Majestic’s chief executive, told the drinks business the Majestic name was unlikely to disappear from the high street.
“My expectation is that Majestic will keep as an on-going concern, which is fundamentally different to an LK Bennet, which was game over,” he told db.
“It may be split 10/90 one way, or 90/10 another way or 50/50, it doesn’t matter – but there will likely to be two businesses at the end of this, one of them is Naked, one of them is Majestic. They will still have a bunch of customers and there will still be opportunities for suppliers, and everyone else,”
However, he later told db that he didn’t think bricks-and-mortar business would play a huge part in the future of wine retail.
“There’s lots of speculation about what stores will look like in future, but I think it’s entirely feasible it will be pop-up and concessions and tasting cards at festivals rather than a 3,000 sq ft [on an] industrial estate,” he said.
Retail boss Josh Lincoln will head up the combined Majestic and Naked UK operation as it prepares to restructure and rebrand the business.
When the rebrand was announced last month, Majestic’s statement said that it would fund Naked’s growth by releasing capital through a combination of store closures, asset sales and ‘migrating customers and stores to the Naked brand’.