Majestic Wine has rolled out its ‘Spotify-style’ wine fitting service across its entire store estate, and is publicising it by giving away over a million bottles of wine to customers who take the test.
The company launched the trial of a the new ‘merchandising by taste’ strategy back in March, as reported by db, as part of a of a “joined-up” strategy for its website, email marketing and in-store merchandising. The service, which launched online, allowed customers to find the wine styles best suited to them online, and trial them in store.
The wine fitting service concept has now been rolled out across the retailer’s estate, with stores merchandised by wine style rather than grape or country. Each style is represented by a correspond colour which is designed to help consumers navigate the fixture, and prompt them to try wines in a style similar to those that they already know they like.
The system is based around a customer taking the fitting – a blind tasting of eight different bottles that pinpoint their preferences. The personalised ‘wine profile’, is sent to them, giving a breakdown of their likes and dislikes based on the tasting, to make it clear what similar styles they might like.
Majestic MD Joshua Lincoln said it was “tasting for the streaming generation” and alikened it to Spotify and Netflix.
“In the fast moving, experience-based new world of retail, customers are desperate to get their head around wine, and do it quickly. We hope to introduce them to new styles, grapes and regions so they can begin to explore the brilliant bottles that are out there.”
“It’s just like how the likes of Spotify or Netflix can help you pick new music or films that match your interests, but you may not have previously heard of or considered. We want to take the obscure, and make it box office – there’s no reason Picpoul couldn’t be the new Stranger Things.”
The concept was first trialled at a ‘palate fitting’ station at a Majestic pop-up store at the Taste of London in 2018, which allowed visitors to ‘calibrate’ their wine tastes.
A similar approach was adopted by Morrisons in 2012 as part of a collaboration with drinks supplier Bibendum, and was subsequently used to remerchandise and resegment the wine aisles according to colour-coded wine styles, although the retailer returned to ranging its BWS aisles by country three years later, claiming the “best way to navigate [the wine aisle] was by country.”
Following the acquisition last month of Majestic Wine by international private equity firm Fortress, part of Japanese-owned Softbank for £95 million, it was announced that former managing director, John Colley, would be returning to take the helm of the UK wine retail business again.