Wine specialist Majestic has jettisoned its six-bottle purchase rule, one of the first eye-grabbing initiatives under newish boss Rowan Gormley.
He described the restriction as “irritating” for customers and “demoralising” for staff sick of watching potential sales go down the sink as shoppers turned tail rather than buy more than they wanted.
The six-bottle rule of course guaranteed a minimum spend and there’s a risk to the top line if volumes and any compensatory changes don’t offset the hit.
But the shift is sensible. If it can make the most of its reputation,has the opportunity to use its status to draw in customers looking for something special and keen for an experiential shop.
As eateries such as Pret and Starbucks start selling alcoholic drinks, perhaps Majestic could also introduce light bites, such as charcuterie and cheese, as Waitrose has done in its wine departments.
That could add to the pleasure of visiting, encourage dwell time and stimulate purchases off the shelves.
Styles from the 1970s seem frequently to be in fashion. Maybe it’s time for a modern twist on the cheese and wine party.