Majestic Wine, which has 193 stores across the UK, said consumers are showing more resilience to paying more for an expensive bottle. Sales of fine wine, priced at more than £20 a bottle, increased by 9.4% on last year, and there was a 'significant' increase of English sparkling wine sales, the company said in its a annual trading update.
Majestic Wine has had a mixed year. The washout summer last year and the distraction of the Olympics weighed on sales at the UK's largest wine retailer, as the wet weather put a dampener on outdoor events and parties. The company had expected a boost in sales over the Olympics, but the Games failed to deliver. 'The Olympics was a triumph for the UK, but a huge distraction for everyone else,' CEO Steve Lewis said in October when the company reported its half-year financial results.
However Majestic Wine benefited from a boost in customers, which rose by 56,000 to 624,000 during the year, while the average spend on a bottle of wine rose from £7.34 to £7.56.
Online sales also rose significantly, jumping by 14.7% in the last year and its internet business now accounts for 11.1% of total sales. But the firm isn't shutting up shop just yet. Majestic Wine said it will continue to focus on opening new stores - it opened 16 new stores last year and expects to open a similar number this year.