What Majestic need to do next
As I mentioned in the previous post here, last night I popped into the Twickenham branch of Majestic and bought a few bottles. What did I get?
- Inama Soave 2007 - I really like Inama's wines
- Pegoes red - from Portugal's Terras do Sado, and tasted last night - great cheapie
- Pena de Pato Dao 2005 - one of the best value wines on the market at the moment
- Churchill Estates 2007 Douro - a brilliant, affordable Douro red
- Matetic EQ Syrah 2007 - yes, a Chilean wine! One of the best, new vintage
- Druet Bourgeuil Les Cent Boisselees 2003 - a bit of a gamble, but I like Loire reds and it looked interetsing
- Settesoli Fiano - a cheap nice white
- Azevedo Vinho Verde 2008 - cheap and delicious; a bracing white from northern Portugal
- Cono Sur Sauvignon 2008 - a bargian basement Sauvignon for those occassions where you need a cheap white
So what do Majestic need to do to improve what is already an very good wine shopping experience? As their estate has grown, the danger is that some interesting wines aren't available in large enough quantities to be spread reliably across all stores. The result is that you can sometimes find things in the stores that aren't on their website - presumably as the stock falls below a certain level it gets lifted from the website. And it would be nice if the buyers could pick up small parcels, spread them across just a few stores, but still make these wines accessible to web customers.
Yet the strength of the Majestic web business is that delivery - often the biggest headache for online operations - is managed at a local level by the nearest store, rather than being coordinated by a central warehouse. So the only way to make small parcels available via the web would be to have some sort of database integration between an individual store's stockholding, and the Majestic.co.uk website. Then a shopper could enter their postcode, and be shown not only the core range, but also any small parcels that their local stores have. This would be the icing on the cake for the website operation, although I imagine that there would be some significant technical hurdles to overcome.