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Majestic to close stores as part of major rebrand that will see it ditch the Majestic name

Published:  25 March, 2019

Majestic Wine is planning an overhaul of the business that will see the Majestic name disappear as part of plans to focus on its online and international reach via its Naked arm.

The specialist wine retailer has not revealed how many stores will be closed, with details of the revamp to be revealed in June this year as part of its full-year results, but it said the company will be renamed Naked Wines.

It said the plan was to expand the online Naked subscription business by releasing capital from Majestic.

In a statement, Majestic said almost 45% of its business came from online with a further 20% from international sales.

"It is clear that Naked Wines has the potential for strong sustainable growth, and we will deliver the best results for our shareholders, customers, people and suppliers by focusing all our energies on delivering that potential,” said chief executive Rowan Gormley, who founded Naked Wines in 2008.

"We also believe that a transformed Majestic business does have the potential to be a long-term winner, but that we risk not maximising the potential of Naked if we try to do both.

"Where we have no choice but to close stores we will aim to minimise job losses by migration into Naked," he said.

The new plan includes raising the amount it spends on attracting new customers to Naked from £20 million currently to £26 milllion by next year, said Gormley, adding that the company was on target to hit sales of £500 million this year, with profits also in line with expectations.

Naked Wines was bought by Majestic in 2015 for £70 million, with Naked founder Gormley staying on at the helm of both brands.