Majestic sees gin sales soar over Christmas

11th January, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

Majestic Wine has reported a 55% increase in gin sales over the Christmas period, when Warner Edwards and Sipsmith performed particularly well.

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Sales of Warner Edwards and Sipsmith gins have soared at Majestic Wine

During its “biggest ever” Christmas trading period, which lasts for the 10 weeks to 2 January, the retailer’s total sales increased 15.3% – spurred by gin and sparkling wine.

Total gin sales were up 55% compared to the same period last year, with Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin’s sales increasing 1,000% and sales of Sipsmith Sloe Gin “almost doubling”.

Spirits now account for 5% of Majestic’s total sales, the group confirmed.

Looking across its 211 retail stores, Majestic Wine Clapham in South London saw the biggest sales, hitting a record £1 million over the Christmas period.

While results were impressive across the Majestic group, its gross margin percentage was one percentage point lower compared to the same period last year due to the “combination of accelerated acquisition of new customers and the need to remain competitive in a heavily discounted UK market still coming to terms with recent currency movements”.

However, Majestic stressed that its “focus on cost control” means profits are expected to be “in line with market expectations”.

“Our transformation plan is working and we remain on track to achieve our £500m sales goal,” said Rowan Gormley, chief executive of Majestic. “We said that we would be better prepared for Christmas than ever – and the numbers show that we did what we said we would do.

“At this stage we are not predicting a change to long-term margin expectations, but we need to retain flexibility to compete in a competitive market.”

Towards the end of last year, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association confirmed that UK gin sales had exceeded £1bn for the first time, six months ahead of forecast.

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