Specialist retailer Majestic Wine suffered a Christmas like-for-like decline as credit crunched business customers cut back on expenses.

Majestic reported that UK like-for-like sales slipped 2.9 per cent for the 10 weeks to January 5.

Chief executive Steve Lewis said: “We saw modest growth in sales to our private customers. Sales to businesses, especially of champagne, were down on last year as they continued to rein in their spending.”
Teathers analyst Paul Deacon said: “Although the business has cut a nicely profitable niche and is well-managed, it faces some significant headwinds.”

He flagged the weakness of sterling and increasing supermarket and online competition as issues of concern.