History

Founded in 1980, we've come a long way since...

Majestic Vintners opened its first Wine Warehouse in Wood Green, North London, in 1980. The manager of this first store was Tony Mason. This store was followed in May 1981 by another in Battersea, and by the end of 1985 there were 13 stores in the Majestic estate.

In January 1986 Tony Mason left Majestic to set up Wizard Wine which was bought in 1987 by frozen food retailer Bejam. When Bejam was purchased by rival Iceland a year later, Chairman John Apthorp, Managing Director Tim How and Trading Director Tony Mason purchased Wizard.

In 1991 Wizard purchased Majestic, and the two operations were merged under the Majestic Wine Warehouses banner in 1992. Since then Majestic has expanded continuously, floating on the Alternative Investment Market in 1996 before opening its hundredth store in 2002.

  • July 2013 saw Majestic launch a brand new website. New features included the ability to browse all wines available in the customer's local store and intelligent staff recommendations. An overall improved online shopping experience.

    New Website
  • We reduced our online minimum purchase from 12 to 6 bottles bringing the online proposition in line with orders placed in store and by phone. In the same year majestic.co.uk launched its first mobile website for customers shopping on smartphones.

    Six Bottles
  • In 2011 we ran our first ever TV advertising campaign; Come and Explore. We all know that wine can be a bit baffling and in the commercials we see how Majestic helps some anxious first time customers. Chardonnay is not a word to be afraid of, and the tasting counter is there for you to find your new favourite.

    TV
    • Sales pass £200m for the first time.
    • We open our 150th store in Leith Walk in Edinburgh.
    • In March we acquire fine wine specialists Lay & Wheeler.
    • September sees us move to a 6 bottle minimum purchase – a very popular decision!
    • Majestic is crowned 'Wine Chain of the Year' at the Decanter World Wine Awards; 'High Street Merchant of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge; and 'Best Large Wine Merchant' at the Decanter Readers' Awards (the latter two for the second year running!)
    A busy year
  • In 2008 Steve Lewis took over at the helm as Chief Executive.

    Steve Lewis
  • 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 personalised gift messages and a choice of delivery date.

  • 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.

  • We open our 100th store in Dorchester and turnover exceeds £100m for the first time. Cue more Champagne...

    100th Store Opens
  • In 2001 we acquired Les Celliers de Calais, a successful business operating in the French channel ports for UK-based customers to stock up on shopping trips to France. Now known as Majestic Wine Calais we have two stores: our Calais Superstore, and a smaller store in nearby Coquelles. 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.

    Majestic Wine Calais
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • July sees our 50th store open in Southampton - and we're still there today.

  • It began in the basement of our store in Notting Hill Gate in 1994, when we spotted an opportunity to sell wines directly to advertising agencies and media companies in London's West End. Majestic Commercial is the new name for the corporate division of Majestic Wine, who specialise in the supply of wine to a range of commercial businesses, and now has a turnover of over £50 million.

  • Following a decade of changing ownership and slow but steady growth, the business is acquired by the a management team led by Tim How. The Majestic journey began in earnest.

  • Goodbye handwritten invoices, hello electronic till system (finally!)

  • Majestic was formed in 1980, initially with just a single store in London's Wood Green.