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Majestic Wines to close all stores and rebrand as Naked

Majestic Wines has announced it is to close all 200 of its retail stores as it rebrands as Naked Wines, the online retailer it purchased for £70m from founder Rowan Gormley in 2015.

The rebrand will see the company move all of its business online, while it says it will trial a “small number” of Naked Wines branded stores. Staff will have a three month wait to receive information regarding closures, with news expected to come with the company’s June financial results.

Majestic Wines said in a statement that almost 45% of its business across both divisions came through online channels, with 20% made up of international sales.

Gormley, who became CEO of Majestic Wines after it acquired his company, said: “It is clear that Naked Wines has the potential for strong sustainable growth, and we will deliver the best results for our shareholders, customers, people and suppliers by focusing all our energies on delivering that potential.

“We also believe that a transformed Majestic business does have the potential to be a long term winner, but that we risk not maximising the potential of Naked if we try to do both. Where we have no choice but to close stores we will aim to minimise job losses by migration into Naked.”

The company said it is on track to hit sales of £500m this year, with profits also said to be “healthy”. As a result of planned investment, the company said it was to review its dividend in June. Shares in Majestic Wines fell by 8% following the news.

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