Majestic Wine

Majestic Wine saw strong Christmas sales

Majestic Wine has reported good sales over the Christmas and the New Year period, boosted by a strong showing in November and a last-minute festive rush.

The wine retailer reported a 5.9% rise in store sales in the 10 weeks to 6 Jan, with like-for-like sales up 2.8%, bringing like-for-like UK store sales growth to 0.8% for the first 40 weeks of the financial year.

Sales were driven by a particularly strong November, chief exec Steve Lewis told The Grocer, in comparison to last year. This was driven by strong promotional activity and increased marketing, which saw a stronger focus on direct mailing and online activity. Lewis said free tasting evenings staged by stores for existing customers to showcase its Christmas range had helped boost these early sales. 

“There was the anticipated slow start in December, but we were well prepared for a rush in the final two weeks, which carried through into a strong New Year,” he said. 

Online sales were also up compared to last year, and there was strong growth in click & collect, albeit from a small base, following the rollout of enhanced capabilities on its website platform over the summer, Lewis said.

Sales of fine wine were particularly strong, he added, as consumers increasingly treated themselves. This growth was underpinned by an improved range and promotional mechanic as well as greater emphasis on training of new staff over the autumn.

Prosecco also saw continued growth, and Grand Marque champagnes showed good sales. However overall champagne sales were broadly level with last year. “People at the entry level continue to trade up to Prosecco and New Zealand sparkling, which is increasingly important to us,” Lewis said, adding that English sparkling was a definite trend rather than “a novelty”.