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Gloucestershire Business News

In the (right sort of) red: Majestic eyes expansion

As the UK's top specialist wine retailer, Majestic has today announced that it is planning to open new stores across the UK.

The news follows buoyant financials at the end of last year which saw the vintner help itself to an 8.1% sales uptick across the eight weeks to Christmas day.

The retailer, which has stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Cirencester, has now identified 125 locations as viable spots for new store openings across England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands and the wine industry reports that the move will accelerate its investment into bricks-and-mortar retail.

John Colley, Majestic CEO, said: "Experiential bricks-and-mortar retailing is at the heart of what we do at Majestic, and we are committed to opening up to one new store per month during the coming years to help us reach even more customers across the UK."

He added: "In addition to the new stores already in our pipeline for this year, we have identified more than 100 locations across the UK and the Channel Islands that we believe would be a perfect fit for Majestic. We are excited to start serving even more communities around the country and helping thousands of new customers discover wines, beers and spirits they will love."

The focus for expansion includes 13 new operations in the Midlands as well as 30 central London locations for smaller format sites, following good results from its "mini Majestic" concept in Marlow, Harpenden and Crouch End. A further 14 areas within the M25 are also targeted for expansion, as well as seven in the north of England and Scotland, plus three in Wales.

Furthermore, the vintner is eyeing its first store in Guernsey, just two months after launching its first Channel Islands foray in Jersey. The latter meant Majestic's portfolio stood at 208 shops, with the results that 90% of the UK population is estimated to be 10 miles or closer to a Majestic outlet.

John Colley first led Majestic as MD during its successful peak between 2015 and 2017. When Fortress acquired the business in November 2019, they brought him back as CEO to put Majestic back on a growth track.

Mr Colley previously spent 17 years in senior roles with Kingfisher, including Group Chief Trading Officer and Commercial Director at Screwfix, where he pioneered the Trade Counter format. He also spent five years in the Netherlands, as CEO of Praxis DIY and executive board member of Maxeda Group.

In 2021, he was named Drinks Business Man of the Year in 2021, and is the highest rated retail CEO on GlassDoor.

● In April, Majestic rescued bar chain Vagabond from administration, saving 171 jobs and nine of the group's bars in the process.

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