Majestic was formed in 1980, initially with just a single store in London's Wood Green.
The peculiar licencing laws at the time meant that the store could open all day only by selling a minimum of 12 bottles with each purchase. Times have changed, and we now have a minimum purchase of 6 bottles. We've found that this policy allows us to offer the best possible service to all customers who want to buy a mixed case of wine.
During the 1980s the company changed hands several times, gradually expanding into a small chain of some 30 stores. The most significant step came in 1991, though, when the current management team acquired the business and started the vigorous and exciting developments which continue to this day.
Under the leadership of Tim How, Majestic became a public company in 1996, floating on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), since when we have gone from strength to strength. In 2008, Steve Lewis took over at the helm as Chief Executive.
Following extensive customer research, in September 2009 we announced that our minimum purchase in-store had been reduced to 6 bottles. This move received overwhelming support from both excisting and new customers, making Majestic more accessible and giving us a much broader appeal.
And in June 2012 we also changed our minimum purchase for delivery to 6 bottles, giving us the same proposition in-store, online and by telephone.
Majestic.co.uk was launched in April 2000, using a business model that is different to many 'bricks and clicks' retailers. Almost all online orders are passed to and delivered by customers' local stores. This way we can offer the best of both worlds: the convenience of ecommerce, and the unparalleled customer services offered locally - if customers need any extra help they can simply ask the store team when arranging delivery.
Majestic now sells around 10% of its wine online.
In 2003 we opened our first temperature controlled warehouse dedicated to fine wine, at our Fine Wine Centre in St John's Wood, London. From here we offer fine wine for sale online - when you place your order it is dispatched specially to the local store for delivery from where it will arrive with you in perfect condition.
Most of our stores now have special fine wine shelving and temperature control, and we are continuing to roll out this exciting initative across our estate.
Majestic in France
In 2001 we acquired Les Celliers de Calais, a successful 'booze cruise' business operating in the French channel ports for UK-based customers to stock up on shopping trips to France. Now known as Majestic in France there are three stores in Calais, Coquelles and Cherbourg. Customers can place pre-orders before travelling to collect their order, taking advantage of most of the Majestic range but at the competitive prices possible because of low duty rates in France.
In response to customer demand for a rapid gift delivery service, in 2005 Majestic introduced Gift Solutions. Specialising in smaller gifts of wine and Champagne, and in particular deliveries to multiple locations, we offer persionalised gift messages and a choice of delivery date.
The real Majestic difference is our staff - the best trained and most helpful people in the business!
Explore the world of wine with our range of in-store events - Wine Courses, Wine Walks and tastings.
Track down your nearest Majestic Wine store with our online store locator.