Nine per cent of Majestic Wine’s UK retail sales are now made online, the company said today. In all, internet sales at the wine merchant were up by 8.7% in the first half of its financial year compared to the same time last year.
At the same time, total sales rose by 8.7% to £127.8m, in the 26 weeks to September 26, from £117.6m last time. Like-for-like sales during the period rose by 2.7%, excluding VAT, and pre-tax profits were up by 20% to £8.8m, from £7.3m last time.
The company said that it had redesigned its ecommerce systems to reflect customer expectations of being able to interact at a personal level on the website. It had improved product reviews, making it easier for customers to rate products, discuss particular wines and recommend to friends. The amount of video content it holds on its site has also increased, and now includes footage promoting events at local stores and allowing customers to click through to book events at their local stores.
Chief executive Steve Lewis said: “I am very pleased that Majestic has achieved profit growth of 20% in the half year and we are very well prepared for the important Christmas trading period.”
In other highlights, the average spend per transaction rose to £125, from £122, and fine wine sales were also up by 20%, rising to 5.5% of the company’s UK retail sales.
The company also opened eight new stores during the period and says it has potential to grow further from its current 176 stores to 330 in total.