Majestic CEO John Colley said the retailer could open more Vagabond Wines sites in the future

Specialist wine retailer Majestic has bought the Vagabond Wines brand and nine of its twelve bars out of administration.

The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, would protect the jobs of 171 employees at Vagabond, Majestic said.

Vagabond’s two Gatwick Airport sites and its bar in Canary Wharf were not included in the acquisition.

The partnership would “support Majestic’s growth strategy by building on our existing customer base and allowing us to engage with a younger demographic of wine consumers”, said the retailer.

Vagabond, a 12-strong chain of wine bars launched in Fulham, west London in 2009, filed notice of intent to appoint administrators earlier this month, citing “legacy covid debts and other well-documented cost pressures”.

The chain offers more than 100 wines by the glass, which can be ordered using self-pouring wine machines.

John Colley, Majestic’s CEO said: “The combination of the two businesses presents exciting new opportunities for us to grow our customer base, take the Majestic brand to a younger audience and further elevate Vagabond’s product proposition by working alongside our fast-growing on-trade supply division, Majestic Commercial.”

He added Majestic it was “committed to invest in the long-term future of the Vagabond business” and could open new bars “when the right opportunities arise”.

Vagabond Managing Director Matt Fleming said: “In Majestic, we believe we have found the perfect partner to enhance the unique strengths of the Vagabond business and drive a new phase of profitable growth.

“Vagabond’s bars help our customers discover unique, quality wines in a highly experiential setting – values that align perfectly with what Majestic’s colleagues do every single day in their stores.”

The purchase represents a further expansion of Majestic’s physical footprint, as well as a move outside its traditional retail base.

Since being acquired by private equity group Fortress Investment in 2019, Majestic has opened 16 new retail stores. It is also growing its Majestic Commercial business, with the ambition of becoming “one of the UK’s biggest suppliers to the on-trade and hospitality sectors within the next five years”.