Majestic Wine boss Rowan Gormley has warned a Brexit would push up the price of wine as the cost of imported goods will inevitably rise.
Gormley, who became boss of the wine specialist last year after Majestic acquired his business Naked Wines, said a vote for ‘out’ on Thursday is unlikely to affect its supply chain.
But he added: “If a Brexit does happen and that results in the sustained fall in value of the pound, all imported products will have to go up in cost over time and wine will be no exception to that.”
He appeared unfazed as he said it would affect all Majestic’s competitors equally.
However, Gormley added: “It is unlikely to help volume growth return to the [wine] market.”
He flagged that the wine market has been broadly flat since 2008. “For us to grow we have to take sales off other people.”
Like-for-likes rose 4.8%, the first rise in four years. Gormley said this had been achieved through a “back to basics” approach, including improving the in-store experience, simplifying pricing and dumping the six-bottle minimum purchase rule.
Changes have also been made to how staff are rewarded, including removing a cap on bonuses.
“The single biggest movement is just looking after the people properly and letting them know they’re valued,” said Gormley.
He revealed that during Christmas 2014 a “high performing” store manager would receive a £100 bonus. But last Christmas a strong performing manger could “take home a few thousand pounds”.
The retailer is also in the process of becoming an accredited living wage employer, said Majestic managing director John Colley, which is significantly higher than George Osborne’s so-called living wage.