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Majestic heads North for the first time in almost a decade

Published:  12 July, 2021

Majestic Wine has put an end to almost decade-long hiatus in investment in the north of England with a new store opening in the historic market town of Knutsford.

The new store is the retailer’s 201st outlet in the UK and marks the first time in almost 10 years that the company has opened a store in the north of the country. It forms part of ambitious plans to expand the company’s bricks-and-mortar retail estate under new ownership by US-based private equity group Fortress, which bought the Majestic estate from the ultimately ill-fated merger with Naked Wines back in 2019.

While there was a much greater focus on the online channel during its merger with Naked Wines, a total of four new branches have opened in the last 12 months, while a further 16 are currently in the Majestic pipeline.

Majestic's CEO John Colley said: “Whilst some retailers have seen the past 12 months as an opportunity to pull back from face-to-face retail, we’re pleased to be doing quite the opposite, as our new site in Knutsford shows. I couldn’t be prouder of the work that our store colleagues have done throughout the coronavirus pandemic, helping all our customers – new and loyal – to discover the wines, beers and spirits they’ll love, while balancing the extraordinary operational challenges brought on by the pandemic.”

Colley added that Knutsford is a location that has been on the company’s “wishlist for a number of years”.

The town falls within the so-called Golden Triangle of Cheshire, which is famed for drinking more Champagne per head than anywhere else in the country.

While the exact three points of the triangle are the subject of local debate, the area has become popular with celebrities, entrepreneurs and Premiere League footballers.

In an unrelated move, Majestic stores nationwide remained closed this morning following on from last night’s heated Euro championship final which saw England face off against Italy.

Stores opened at 12pm and are now operating normally.

Majestic is now looking to capitalise on the area’s thirst for fizz via a month-long launch where customers will be offered free tastings in store.

Speaking of the new opening in Knutsford, Rupert Collis, of property consultancy Fisher German, who helped broker the transition of Majestic into a former Tesla showroom at the heart of the town, added: “It is extremely positive to see a national operator investing in new high street stores in what is an extremely challenging retail market.

“We are very pleased to secure a 15-year lease with Majestic Wines. It demonstrates the resilience of Knutsford, and the brand will be an excellent addition to the town.”