Chairman to bow out later this year
Majestic Wine chairman and founder John Apthorp has announced his retirement. His departure will take place following the company's AGM on August 5. He will be replaced by non-executive chairman Simon Burke, who has been a non-executive director with the retailer since 2000. He was formerly Virgin Retail Group chief executive and Hamleys chairman. Burke said of Apthorp: '[He] has set a very high standard for me to follow.'

The retailer made the announcement as it revealed that like-for-like sales increased by 10.4 per cent in the nine weeks from November 2 last year to January 3 this year. Majestic chief executive Tim How said: 'We are delighted with our sales performance over the Christmas period. Wines from Bordeaux, Italy, Chile and New Zealand sold very well, and Champagne sales grew strongly.'