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RIP Majestic


Well it’s still looking quite positive:

On the back of this news (presumably) I just received an email from Majestic (who, I might add, I only buy from on very rare occasions) that opened with:

You may have seen the news: Majestic is here to stay. To celebrate, you can taste your way through classic wines Majestic customers can’t get enough of FREE at July’s showcase tasting.


Some hope of L&W getting out from under Gormley?


I received the inevitable Majestic voucher the other day, after an absence of several months, and went to have a look. The shop has been dramatically refurbished, creating a lot more space. I was quite impressed.
According to the manager the shops will continue as Majestic, with only a small number of closures, and with largely the same suppliers. There also seem to have been quite a bit of work on the prices, with many reduced. Not so clear on how the long-term price strategy will evolve though.
Sadly the recent Bollinger offer (£32) had just finished, which was a disappointment!


Majestic now do not call when they receive my L&W delivery, if you are lucky L&W send you an email of the delivery. The other day in store the manager (there are 4-5 nice staff members and himrunning the local store) told me they are a different company hence they do not call…


I think its always been hit and miss and I think service varies greatly from store to store.

Notwithstanding that it will probably get worse (before it disappears as an option entirely), I would say they only ever called me on 1 in 4 occasions in the past.

On one occasion I went in to a store to collect after giving a few days extra as insurance to be told that they never had anything in my name. Two days later I went back and was told it had been there for a week…


Looks like Majestic has been sold now for £95-£100M with Lay and Wheeler being sold off soon.


Rowan Gormley’s disruptive model includes paying himself >GBP225k in special dividends from the sale…


Every penny well earned! Errrrrr no :wink:


Here’s the Majestic press release.


Hats off to him for selling an import driven business 3 months before a hard Brexit in the week that Sterling Euro traded below 1.09



Wonder if it’s all the stores or they kept some such as the one(s) they rebranded as Naked?


That one got converted back to Majestic.


It sounds to me they had something of a change of heart, starting off down a rebranding route then finding some backlash.

I wonder what happens to Naked now? No sugar daddy left for when times get tough.


I’m not sure Gormley cares… Pretty good effort buying and selling a company, personally profiting from it without doing much more than flipping it.


Do Naked remain listed on the stock market and just sell Majestic I wonder?

Naked have a niche strategy that is quite good at sucking people in, most none wine people I speak to believe the marketing to an alarming extent and don’t think to do any actual checking of the prices. I dont think there’s any worry of them going anywhere soon.

I’m actually from Norwich and walk past their HQ all the time.


Their listing remains from what i can see.

And agreed, i have given up trying to explain that marketing doesn’t equal truth…


According to The i this morning the current London listed group known as Majestic will be renamed as Naked Wines.


Especially when you consider the actual mechanics involved him getting Majestic to buy Naked from its previous owners WIV Wein, then flogging off Majestic itself once the deal was done!

Fair comment. Though I seem to recall they took years before turning a profit. Presumably this sort of business model absorbs a lot of front-end finance to build the business to a sustainable level. My understanding is that they have big ambitions to grow their business into other countries, which if I am right will take even more investment. Presumably that £100M from the sale of Majestic + L&W will be needed for that.


Naked appear to have bought a market listing, and strengthened their own balance sheet by buying and selling the Majestic and L&W businesses.

Be interesting to see what direction Majestic takes now, and how successful it is. I have no interest in Naked and glad to see them separate. I hope that the delivery conduit of Majestic for L&W remains, but not holding my breath.


I will be interested to see how this goes (outside of being a Wine Society staff member), looks like Naked wines just sold off all of their brand equity to someone else, anyone who I have spoken to about Naked wines that have tried them found them to be ‘ok’ but wouldn’t be ordering from them again.