Majestic Wine is to embark on a make-or-break advertising campaign next month as it considers whether to dump the fledgling TV ads.
The wine warehouse will decide in January whether to continue with its ‘Come and Explore’ campaign after ploughing £887,000 in media costs in the first half to limited effect.
The retailer first trialled the light-hearted campaign, which aims to debunk the view of wine specialists as judgemental snobs, in London last November.
However, Majestic’s decision to take the campaign national for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend backfired as poor weather undermined the impact of the adverts.
Majestic Wine chief executive Steve Lewis said: “I am disappointed; we can’t continue to make them without some return.
“If it does not work this time we will stop and look at something different.”
A further iteration of the campaign will launch in London in December and supported by in-store point of sale materials.
Majestic is attempting to reach new shoppers as it continues a strategy to build its store portfolio and brand awareness throughout the UK.
The retailer reported a 3.9% increase in pre-tax profits to £9.2m in the 26 weeks to October 1 today. Like-for-like sales rose 0.6% in UK retail stores although total sales fell 1.4% to £136m hampered by poor weather and a deliberate reduction in its wholesale activity. The Olympics also negatively affected the retailer as shoppers deserted its key London market.
Like-for-like sales for the six weeks to November 12 rose 1.2% and Lewis said this “solid” performance was pleasing.
The retailer is attempting a number of tactics to win shoppers. It has launched a Fine Wine Plan Privilege Card offering 10% off to 2,500 shoppers at Lay & Wheeler wine merchant business in an attempt to tempt Majestic shoppers into the more premium retailer.
Majestic is also set to begin a two month sponsorship of The Observer Food Monthly magazine which will see the retailer’s wines used alongside recipes, its videos hosted on the newspaper’s website and advertorials in the magazine.
It has also recorded strong online growth, up 14% to £12.7m in the first half, representing 9.8% of its UK retail sales. The step up in pace has been attributed to a drop in the minimum online order from 12 bottles to six in June.