Majestic storefront

Specialist wine retailer Majestic has created two new roles in its property team as it looks to accelerate its programme of store openings.

It has appointed Stuart Williams as director of estates and acquisitions, and its current property director Andy Latham as director of format development and new store openings.

Williams is to rejoin Majestic eight years after leaving the business.

He spent over 20 years at the wine retailer, including 10 years as property director.

He would join in January 2024 from Travelodge, where he was currently head of estates, and report into Majestic CFO Alex Jablonowski, the retailer said.

Latham would also start his position in January. He would be responsible for planning, fitting out and setting up new stores, as well as managing re-investment in the existing estate, Majestic said.

In the role he would report into Majestic’s store operations director, Keith Blessley.

Williams would bring “a huge amount of retail and property experience, as well as an intrinsic understanding of the Majestic business” said Majestic CEO John Colley.

His appointment would allow Latham and his team to concentrate on format development and “ensuring that our new stores get up to speed as quickly as possible,” Colley added.

It comes with Majestic having launched five new stores in its financial year to date, and 15 since its acquisition by Fortress four years ago.

In April, Majestic opened its first small-format high street store in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The 1,800 sq ft unit is less than half the size of the average Majestic shop and its performance since opening had given Majestic the confidence to roll out similar smaller sites in other “high-density catchments”, it said.

In November, Majestic added a similar high street store in Crouch End, north London, with another small-format location due to open in the Buckinghamshire town of Marlow in 2024.

“We have ambitious plans over the next few years to open up to one new store per month and drive the growth of our retail and commercial businesses,” said Colley. “To achieve this, we need to make sure we have the right structure and tools in place, and creating these two new roles in our property team is an important part of that investment.”