The business to business arm of Majestic Wine has been named Great Value Merchant of the Year at this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) – the first time the Majestic Commercial business has claimed this particular accolade.
Every year the SWA seeks to recognise the leading wine suppliers to the UK’s hospitality industry. And, despite the effects of COVID-19, the competition this year was as tough as ever. Majestic’s win follows a record number of awards for their wine range, including 15 golds, at this year’s awards – where the judges were quick to comment on the fantastic value for money offered across the board.
The award follows a series of changes at Majestic, including a change to Commercial’s leadership following the appointment of Robert Cooke. With hospitality now starting to build towards reopening, Cooke is determined to reassert the Majestic Commercial business and believes that the prestigious award can be a springboard for his team.
“Winning the Great Value Merchant Award is a fantastic recognition of the work the Majestic team has done across the business to support our industry. We’ve ensured we keep our prices as keen as possible, and recently introduced a freeze for many of our accounts – so that when hospitality does begin to reopen they can have the confidence to fill their bars and cellars.” explained Cooke.
Whilst the Majestic Retail business has continued to trade throughout lockdown through a network of home delivery vans, the £80m a year Commercial business has been in hiatus throughout. However, thanks to redeployment of personnel, Majestic’s full workforce has been able to continue to work – meaning they are already on hand for any businesses as they reopen.
Speaking on behalf of the awards, Micaela Martins Ferreira, Competition Director, added: “Majestic was carving out a deserved niche for itself in SWA as being the king of value, but then the whole Naked thing happened, and it went rather quiet. So it was great to see it back this year – not least because it absolutely stormed the value end of the list. Majestic had a smaller entry than Boutinot, but was doing a slightly different job, which is why we have two winners in this category this year. And talk about amazing prices! Every one of its 26 medals, bar a couple of champagnes and some Loire whites, was under £10.
Particularly impressive is the fact that within its Gold and Silver medals it so often ticks off essential wine styles: Côtes du Rhône, Beaujolais, Chianti, Rioja, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Macon, Aussie Shiraz… these are wines that everybody needs. And few merchants, on this evidence, can provide them at a better price than Majestic Commercial.”
“The last few months have been difficult for everyone connected to the UK’s amazing pubs, bars and restaurant scene.” adds Robert Cooke “There’s been no easy answers, but at Majestic Commercial we’ve done what we can to support the many businesses we serve. I couldn’t be prouder of the way everyone across our company has adapted and worked to continue to put our customers first and foremost. We know we have a brilliant proposition for whatever the future holds and we’re now ready to help our accounts face their next chapter.”