Majestic Wine eye up success in Weston

PUBLISHED: 13:36 15 November 2010

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A THRIVING wine merchant chain says it hopes to uncork competition with Weston's supermarkets by opening a new store in the town.

Majestic Wine has been given the green light to move into the former HSS Hire Shop in St Phillips Road and begin trading soon after the New Year.

The business, which prides itself on a ‘party service’, sells wine at a minimum of six bottles per purchase and has branches in Bristol and Taunton.

Property acquisitions manager Tom Holland told the Mercury that Weston had been a target for the chain for a number of years.

He said: “Majestic Wine will always look to open stores within an affluent catchment area, and looking at the demographics of Weston we think it fits our profile.

“We do very well in the outer area, with successful stores in Bristol and Taunton, but now we want to reach out to places such as Weston.”

The announcement comes at a time supermarkets are being blamed for the demise of off-licences, including chains such as Threshers.

But although the store would be near to ASDA, Mr Holland believed the business would achieve success attracting customers.

He said: “We are not opening to offer people a bottle of wine, cigarettes and scratch card on the way home from work.

“We offer a sort of party service with friendly, informative help, and we’re confident this will work in Weston.”

This week the company, which has more than 200 stores, announced a 20 per cent increase in pre-tax half-year profits to £7.3million.

It comes after the firm cut the minimum order from 12 bottles to six last September.

The proposed move to the St Phillips store was made possible after North Somerset Council agreed to relax a planning condition to the premise restricting the occupation of the building to HSS Hire Shop.

The hire company left three years ago and despite numerous attempts to market the store no new tenant was found until Majestic made enquiries earlier this year.

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