UK: Majestic Wine reports strong Christmas trade
Majestic Wine like-for-like sales up 4% over Christmas
Christmas trading has helped Majestic Wine to recover from a wine sales wobble and regain momentum in its fiscal year, despite depressed consumer spending power across the UK.
Majestic said today (10 January) that its wine sales increased by 8.4% in value for the nine weeks to 2 January. Like-for-like store sales increased by 4%.
That means that the wine retailer has maintained its net sales momentum from earlier in its fiscal year. For the 40 weeks to 2 January, like-for-like store sales are up by 2.7% on the same period of the previous year. This is the same growth rate as for the first 26 weeks of the retailer's year.
The figures also show that Majestic has recovered from a weak October, when like-for-like store sales dipped by 1% on the same month in 2010.
Majestic's results come in spite of pressure on the UK wine sector from duty tax rises and weak consumer confidence. According to consultancy group Deloitte, consumers have been cutting back in all discretionary spending areas.
In a report issued this week, Deloitte said that the number of retailers entering administration in England and Wales last year increased by 11%. More are expected to fall in 2012, it said.
Majestic rival Oddbins was one of the biggest casualties of 2011, although the brand has subsequently returned to the high street under new owners and with fewer outlets.
In an interview with just-drinks published late last year, CEO Steve Lewis said that the group had outperformed rivals in tough economic times because it is "an extremely tightly-run organisation, with good cost control, high quality staff and a strong focus on its niche market".
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