today unveiled a 14% rise in online sales in the first half of its financial year. That contrasts with a fall in overall sales of 1.4% to £126.0m in the six months to October 1
. Today, said Majestic, ecommerce represents 9.8% of its total UK retail sales.
A mobile-optimised website launched early in the year, while Majestic said online sales had grown still faster since it introduced a six-bottle minimum order online in June, in line with store policy. In the period between then and October 1, ecommerce sales rose by 19.9%.
That helped to offset the effects of Majestic's decision to reduce its wholesale business and focus in on-trade customers instead. As a result, wholesale revenues more than halved to £3.2m from £7.2m last time, resulting in group revenues £1.8m lower than last year in the six months to October 1. When wholesale revenues were excluded, group income rose by 4.6% to £122.7m.
Pre-tax profits for the period grew to £9.2m, 3.9% up on last year.
Chief executive Steve Lewis (pictured)
said: "These results, achieved in a challenging economic environment and the wettest summer on record, display the resilience of the Majestic business.” Referencing an 11.2% increase in the number of shoppers who have bought in the last 12 months, to 594,000, he said: “I am pleased that so many new customers are choosing to shop with Majestic."