It has been a challenging year for Majestic Wine with a lack of good news to toast to. However, the company had reason to cheer today after announcing that its younger crowdfunding business Naked Wines has hit a milestone £100m of sales.
Majestic bought Naked Wines for £70m in April last year to help boost its online presence and give it access to new international markets where it operates, such as the US and Australia.
Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines' took over as chief executive of the overall company and has been turning the business around since by scrapping Majestic's six-bottle minimum, removing bonus limits for store managers, and cutting back on its store expansion.
Naked Wines, whose customers, or angels, help forward-fund winemakers in return for exclusive wines at wholesale prices, has also benefited from the tie-up by using Majestic stores to roll out click and collect for its customers across the UK.
In a statement today, the company said sales had hit £100m since 31 March 2015 – the first full-year indication of how it has performed under Majestic's ownership. That compares with sales of £74m last year and £53m in 2014.
Naked Wines said it now has over 300,000 mature angel investors – who have been customers for over four months – supporting more than 100 independent winemakers in 14 countries.
Gormley said: “Hitting this latest milestone proves once again that crowd-funded, social wine distribution can deliver brilliant outcomes for all our stakeholders at the same time – from those who pick the grapes to those who discover and drink our wines."