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Majestic COO joins WSTA board

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has welcomed Rob Cooke, chief operating officer at Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, to its board.

Majestic COO joins WSTA board

The WSTA represents more than 300 companies in the UK including producers, importers, exporters, transport and wine and spirit sales.

New recruit Rob Cooke sits on the Majestic executive team and oversees the retailer’s ecommerce, buying and marketing functions. He is also an authority on Majestic Commercial – the company’s growing on-trade arm which saw more than 400 sign ups from new bars, pubs and restaurants during 2022.

Cooke has played a crucial role in Majestic’s turnaround since it moved back into private ownership in 2019 after separating from Naked Wines Plc, the company has said. The Majestic COO was awarded The Drinks Business Man of the Year Award in 2020. Cooke joined Majestic from Tesco, where he worked as category director for beers, wines and spirits. He also spent four years at Sainsbury’s as head of non-food transformation and then head of buying.

Commenting on his appointment, Cooke said: “I’m delighted to be joining the WSTA board. As the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, Majestic has a responsibility to be a force for good and advocate for positive change across the wine industry, for the benefit of our customers, colleagues and suppliers. I’m looking forward to working with Miles and the rest of the WSTA board to build a sustainable future for the trade.”

The trade is currently consulting both the British and Scottish Governments over plans for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), while the WSTA is also lobbying Westminster for a review of Alcohol Excise Duty, following the biggest hike in duty for decades in the Spring Budget.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Rob’s appointment is a welcome addition to the growing WSTA board and he brings with him a wealth of expertise in wine and spirit retail.

“The UK’s wine and spirit businesses and consumers face some of the highest tax increases in decades, as well as complex and costly deposit return scheme proposals and all alongside a backdrop of punishing pandemic losses. Facing these challenges, it is important that we work together to campaign for more support for the wine and spirit trade.”

Following Rob’s appointment, the WSTA is looking to continue to diversify its board by recruiting four new members, below CEO/principal level, chosen for their different business expertise and perspectives.

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