Sign of the times? Majestic Wine abandons six bottle minimum purchase

 
Emma Haslett
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Six bottle minimum, begone (Source: Getty)

Is this a sign of how bad things have really become for food and drink retailers? Majestic Wine, the middle classes' favourite mass booze retailer, has just ditched one of its main rules - namely, that all customers are required to buy a minimum of six bottles. Gasp.

In a statement today, the company said it was implementing a new pricing strategy, aimed at "making the shopping experience simpler and easier for both new and existing customers". It's been trying out the new system in some of its stores since this spring, it added.

That said, there's still an incentive for customers to buy six bottles. Those who do will get "at least 10 per cent off and up to 33 per cent off" all wines and spirits.

It hasn't been an easy year for the company: in January shares dropped 17 per cent after it said competition from supermarkets, which use booze as a loss leader, had caused sales growth to plummet over Christmas.

Since then, it's acquired online wine retailer Naked Wines for £70m, installed the company's boss, Rowan Gormley, as its chief executive, and even rolled out its own click and collect service in an effort to get people through its doors.

Today Gormley said the new plans will create "simpler, clearer pricing".

"This new structure is part of our wider plan to reposition Majestic Wine to become the go-to destination for the best quality wines at the best prices. There are now no barriers to shopping at Majestic, the pricing structure is very straightforward and I'm sure our customers will see this as a great move."

Cheers to that.

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