// Majestic Wine will rebrand as Naked Wines from June
// Focus of new business will be on online and international growth
// CEO: “Where we have no choice but to close stores we will aim to minimise job losses by migration into Naked.”
Specialist wine retailer Majestic Wine has this morning revealed plans to close stores and undertake a major rebranding where it would rename itself Naked Wines.
Majestic Wine acquired the Naked Wines brand in 2015, and added that it would begin its transformation strategy in June.
The strategy will include bringing the group under one brand and management team as Naked Wine, as well as increasing spend on new customer investment.
The businesses added that the changes will be funded by releasing capital from the Majestic Wine brand through migrating customers and stores to the Naked Wines brand, asset sales and store closures.
It has not yet confirmed how many of its 200 stores would face closure.
While the business said that annual profit and sales expectations were on track, it plans to increase its growth outside of the UK through its online and international focus in the Naked Wines brand.
Majestic Wine noted that since acquiring Naked Wines in 2015, the latter’s business has more than doubled in size with sales expected to exceed £175 million this year.
Naked Wines has also built a highly loyal customer base, generation repeat customer contributions of almost £40 million a year.
At the start of the year Majestic Wine reported a 6.3 per cent rise in Christmas sales growth for peak trading in 2018, added that like-for-like sales the week before Christmas were up 47 per cent.
For the current financial year ending April 1, Majestic Wine said it expected to achieve its financial target of £500 million in sales.
Majestic Wine added that it would present a more detailed Group Transformation Plan in June 2019 focusing on accelerating the growth of Naked Wines.
“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,” group chief executive Rowan Gormley said.
“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.”