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Majestic COO Rob Cooke steps down

Majestic’s chief operating office Rob Cooke, who has been with the specialist retailer for five year, has stepped down and has already left the business, db understands.

Majestic COO joins WSTA board

Cooke joined Majestic in 2019 from Tesco as where he had been category director for beers, wines and spirits, having previously spent four years at Sainsbury’s as head of non-food transformation and then head of buying. After joining Majestic as buying and merchandising director, he became chief operating officer, where he was responsible for some of the key areas of the business, including trading, customer and commercial.

He played a crucial role in the company’s turnaround following its move back into private ownership after separating from Naked Wines and was awarded The Drinks Business Man of the Year Award in 2020.

In a statement to Drinks Retailing News, John Colley thanked Cooke for “all his loyalty, passion and hard work” during his five years at Majestic as well as the role he has played in growing the business.

“Rob has been a key individual here at Majestic over the past five years and has been instrumental in developing and re-establishing not just the market beating product range that we now have in our stores, but also supporting, amongst other initiatives, the growth of our commercial on-trade and national accounts business,” Colley said.

In the past five year, the retailer has turbo-charged its bricks and mortar commitment, opening new stores, with Cooke telling db last year that he was “very confident” in the specialist retailer’s growth plans, despite the tough trading environment of the UK retail market. This reversed the policy of previous owner Naked Wines, who announced it would rebrand the retail business as Naked Wines to concentrate purely on its online offer, intending to cut the store estate by almost two thirds and earmarking 140 stores for closure.

Not long afterwards, it sold the Majestic retail business to Fortress Group, which was then part of Japanese Softbank, ushering in a new era.

In March, the retailer announced it was rescuing independent hybrid wine retailer Vagabond Wines from administration, telling db that the acquisition gave it the opportunity to grow its customer base and engage with a younger demographic of wine consumers “in an experiential environment”.

Read more:

Majestic ‘very confident’ of its growth plan despite tough trading environment

Analysis: Will Majestic’s acquisition of Vagabond work?

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