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Majestic Wine toasts ‘biggest Christmas’ in its history

UK wine merchant Majestic Wine has reported the biggest Christmas in its 43-year history, with sales up 8.1% in the eight weeks to Christmas, driven by both retail and its trade sales. 

The retailer said its result was boosted by 60,000 new customers through the stores, as well as the opening of six new stores last year. There was also a “surge” in B2B sales through its on-trade arm, Majestic Commercial, which now services 2,300 pubs, bars, restaurants and venues, as well as a 13.4% boost to its fine wine sales.

Majestic CEO John Colley called it a “record-breaking” Christmas for Majestic in which it achieved “higher sales and served more customers than ever before”. Friday 22 December was the biggest day of trading, not merely in the run-up to Christmas but in the retailers 43-year history, after customers left it late to stock up on wines, beers and spirits for the holiday season.

The run up to Christmas saw the retailer run its first TV advertising campaign since 2021, which itself marked the return to TV after a decade in order to “shout about it’s knowledgeable and approachable store teams” and the “un-stuffy” experience of shopping in a Majestic store.

It followed an refresh of its fine wine range in October, which saw it boost the range of wines priced between £25 to over £100, as part of a wider refresh which added around 68 wines added in total, as well as expanding the ‘Chosen By Majestic’ range that was introduced in June as a tier below its established own-label ‘Definition’ range.

“Even during tougher times when consumers’ budgets are tight, it’s clear that customers trust Majestic’s quality, range, expertise and customer service – particularly at important occasions like Christmas,” Colley said.

“2024 is shaping up to be another difficult year for consumers with further increases in the cost of living, but our focus remains on doing what we do best – offering quality, unique products and helping even more customers discover fantastic wines, beers and spirits. We have a strong balance sheet and will continue to invest in growth, with more exciting new stores planned this year, starting with Marlow and Christchurch in the Spring.”

Speaking to the drinks business in October, Majestic’s COO Rob Cooke says he remained “very confident” in the specialist retailer’s growth plans despite the tough trading environment of the UK retail market, arguing that at a time when customers are keen to maximise the value they get from the spend, the retailers’ “ability to have those quality conversations in the ‘try before you buy’ tasting counter is going to be more important than ever.” 

The “ideal” was to find sites that could accommodate a traditional larger format store, although the retailer is also expanding its town centre smaller store formats where that isn’t possible, having launched the new format in Harpenden in April, followed by Crouch End in October, with another set to open in Marlow in 2024.

Read more:

Majestic expands new own label range and revamps fine wine

Majestic happy with trial of smaller store – but larger stores ‘preferable’

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