Wine retailer Majestic Wines is set to buy online competitor Naked Wines in a corking £70m deal
We love an entrepreneurial success story here at Elite Business. And our heart was warmed today by the news that Naked Wines, founded by Rowan Gormley in 2008, had been acquired by Majestic Wine for £70m.
It’s safe to say we have always had a soft spot for Naked Wines, which has gone from strength to strength in its six years of existence to become the Kickstarter for wines. The company has been recognised for the support it gives to independent winemakers in 65 countries, whose wine is sold exclusively on the Naked Wines website.
As part of the deal that has seen Majestic Wine acquire Naked Wines, the two companies will continue operating as independent brands, with Gormley becoming CEO of the overall company. Naked Wines’ 300,000 customers along with Majestic Wine’s 640,000 customers will create a combined reach of nearly one million winos.
With ecommerce currently Europe’s fastest expanding retail market, with a projected contribution of £45bn to the economy this year, it’s little wonder Majestic thought the time was ripe to get Naked on board. It also comes at a time when Majestic Wine is planning to expand to the other side of the pond as well as Down Under.
Needless to say, each brand will tap into the expertise of the other, with Majestic Wine boasting a number of bricks and mortar shops and Naked Wines’ reputation being built on its strong online presence. Refreshingly, Naked Wines will not lose any of it independent spirit and will be able to expand its range with the funding from Majestic.
The customers of Naked Wines will also see the introduction of a Click and Collect service through Majestic’s stores, allowing them to receive their wine in the most convenient way possible. And to keep each company’s ethos alive, Majestic will not stock Naked Wine’s products in their retail stores nor will Naked Wines offer Majestic’s products online.
We’ll raise a glass to that.