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Majestic takes multichannel local

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Steve Lewis, chief executive of Majestic Wine

Wineseller Majestic Wine is putting a new emphasis on the local store in a multichannel strategy that aims to “bring to life” each individual store.

Visitors to the company’s ecommerce site can now find out what’s going on at their local stores, as well as signing up for updates from their local Twitter feed.

Local staff are now in charge of the profile page for each of Majestic’s 161 stores, which feature details of wine tastings and other events, staff biographies and a Twitter and news feed. This information is highlighted to each visiting customer, with a local store assigned to them based on their billing address.

Majestic says the move, implemented in partnership with its ecommerce services provider Snow Valley, underlines the importance of the local store to Majestic and its customers.

Majestic ecommerce director Richard Weaver said the initiative was about bringing “the personality of each store to life online.”

He said: “It’s really important to us at Majestic that our staff engage with our customers. The come in, queue up, pay and leave again as quickly as possible model is not something we aspire to. We want wine lovers to flock to their local Majestic store where they can enjoy tastings and benefit from the expertise of our brilliant staff.”

And he added: “Each one of our stores is distinctive, principally because they are staffed by different people, and we embrace that lack of uniformity – we see it as a very good thing and we want all of our customers, whichever channel they use, to get to know the personality of their local branch. That’s what this initiative is all about – how can we use our website to help each individual store reach out to local wine lovers and build a community with those customers?”

Sarah Lynch, development director, at Snow Valley said; “We’re very proud to have been a part of this innovative project. It really is an example of multi-channel synergy at its very best – the web content is enhanced, the stores see increased footfall, and the customer gets a wonderful, consistent experience whenever they shop at Majestic Wine.

“For high street retailers, the online channel can no longer be a separate part of the business – it has to be integrated and run as part of the overall strategy. The great thing about Majestic is that they have a very clear vision of what their customers want and how they want their brand to be perceived. We’re really looking forward to working with them on future multi-channel initiatives.”

Our view: Selling wine online brings its own challenges. Many committed wine lovers will be keen to taste the goods before they buy, especially when they buy in bulk, thus raising the importance of the local store for customers. By raising the profile of the local store Majestic is cleverly turning the potential barrier to buying wine that is online into an advantage at a local level. But this could be relevant well beyond the wine industry – we’re sure retailers working in other sectors will find lessons to learn from here as well.

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