Majestic creates property roles to drive store openings

British wine retailer Majestic has created two new property roles in a bid to speed up its store opening plans.

Travelodge head of estates Stuart Williams is re-joining the company after eight years, taking on the newly launched role of director of estates and acquisitions.

Majestic director of property Andy Latham will become director of format development and new store operations.

The company says that opening new stores and refurbishing its existing estate have been re-established as central pillars of its growth plan since its acquisition by Fortress Investment Group in December 2019.

Since the beginning of its latest financial year, Majestic has opened five new stores, bringing the total number of openings to 15 since it was bought by Fortress.

It said that following the backing of its owners and the reintroduction of former management, Majestic has "returned to growth and stability", having also recently been experimenting with different store formats.

Earlier this year, Majestic opened its first small-format high street store in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

The 1,800 sq ft unit is less than half the size of the average Majestic shop, but the retailer said its performance to-date has "given the business confidence to roll out similar smaller sites in other high-density catchments".

In November, Majestic opened a similar High Street store in Crouch End, North London, with another small-format location due to open in the Buckinghamshire town of Marlow in 2024.

“We have ambitious plans over the next few years to open up to one new store per month and drive the growth of our retail and commercial businesses," said Majestic chief executive John Colley. "To achieve this, we need to make sure we have the right structure and tools in place, and creating these two new roles in our property team is an important part of that investment."

In August, the wine retailer announced a new delivery partnership with Uber Eats.

The partnership has launched with an initial eight Majestic stores in Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Clapham, Esher, Notting Hill, St John’s Wood and Westbury-on-Trym, but will be rolled out to a total of 177 locations by the end of October.

Majestic will be Uber Eats’ headline partner for drinks, which means it will permanently feature at the top of the alcohol section on the app.

At the time, the retailer said that it is aiming to build on the online growth it has experienced since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and “capitalise on the growing shift from its customers towards seeking local delivery solutions”.

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