Naked Wines raises a glass to festive cheer as Christmas sales fizz

Eamon Fitzgerald, Naked Wines managing director, with a selection of wines. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Eamon Fitzgerald, Naked Wines managing director, with a selection of wines. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Online wine seller Naked Wines has toasted rising sales over Christmas, the retailer's most critical trading period.

Norwich-based Naked saw sales leap 13% as boss Rowan Gormley reiterated plans to hit £500m in revenues by 2019.

Its parent company Majestic Wine booked a 3.2% rise in sales in the 10 weeks to January 1, with like-for-like retail sales up 1.3% compared to the same period last year.

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Approximately 30% of the firm's total annual revenues come during the festive trading season.

Mr Gormley said: 'The fact that we have been able to grow sales and maintain margins shows that our winning formula of fabulous customer service from delightful people and delicious wines at fair prices works even when times are tough.

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'We are on track to achieve our £500m sales goal by 2019, on track to deliver market expectations for the current financial year, and on track to accelerate investment in new customers, new winemakers and more fantastic wines.'

Naked's UK division saw sales rise 7.4% year-on-year for the Christmas period with its US and Australian arms seeing 13% and 33.1% rises respectively.

However, Colchester-based fine wine retailer Lay & Wheeler, also part of the Majestic group, saw a 4.7% fall in year-on-year sales.

In November, Majestic said it is time to put its 'foot on the gas' as it cheered a return to profit.

The wine warehouse chain, which has 210 branches in the UK and two in France, posted bottom line pre-tax profits of £3.1m for the six months to October 2 against losses of £4.4m a year earlier.

Naked Wines is a member of the EDP/EADT Top 100 list of biggest Norfolk and Suffolk companies by turnover.

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