Majestic embraces growth by unveiling its summer wines

Retailer specializing in wines Majestic previewed its upcoming Spring/Summer wines while reflecting on what has changed in recent years.

From left to right: Retail Director Keith Blessley, CEO John Colley and Commercial Director Rob Cooke.

Majestic will supply an increased number of wines from some of its core brands. A chardonnay from Romanian producer Incanta is expected in July, while a 2021 rosé from Sicilian producer Nero Oro, best known for their Nero d’Avola, was launched in April. With regard to the assembled bottles, the summer mainstay of rosé figures prominently. As commercial director Rob Cooke says, the pink drink is “refreshing and friendly”.

There are tried-and-tested consumer favorites, from champagne and chardonnay to pinot grigio and montepulciano. A few more left-field options are also emerging, including a Hungarian Blaufränkisch, launched in July.

Despite reports of millennials’ changing consumer habits, Cooke hasn’t noticed a phenomenon of young people choosing quality over quantity. “We don’t see people buying less wine, but definitely spending more per bottle. It started as consumers afforded more expensive wine to drink at home as the pandemic severely limited commercial sales.

The company has also capitalized on consumers opting to stay in rather than go out by leveraging the popularity of subscriptions. The Wine Club, launching in August 2021, includes recipe ideas on what to cook to complement the selection of wines that are in the box. For the spring theme “Discover Italy”, former River Café Chef de partie Abby Baker shared regional Italian recipes to pair with the Italian wines featured.

When asked if the events of the previous two years have caused a long-standing shift of consumers to online sales, Cooke suggests that the order of things has returned to what it was in 2019. “From our point of view, footfall is increasing as people enjoy the freedom of in-person experiences again. There are things you can do in the store that you can’t do on a website, like snack wines and ask for advice.

“We are currently in a growth phase, with the opening of new sites,” continues Cooke. Indeed, although the 2021 Christmas advert marked Majestic’s first TV campaign in a decade, they recently followed it up with another advert at Easter this year. This renewed vigor can be seen as part of the company’s efforts to re-engage lost customers.

However, it was not all easy. In December last year, the company was forced to close its Calais sites due to harsh Brexit and pandemic restrictions which reduced sales. But, despite two tumultuous years, the retailer’s outlook for the future remains positive.

Shirley M. Pinder