Majestic has effectively finalised its strategic purchase of Vagabond Wines, marking a significant expansion by adding nine wine bars to its portfolio and securing over 170 jobs.

The acquisition is set to fuel the long-term growth and expansion of Vagabond, aligning with Majestic’s strategic objectives to broaden its customer base, appeal to a younger segment of wine enthusiasts, and enhance its business-to-business operations.

Majestic, Britain’s premier wine retail specialist, has announced the acquisition of Vagabond Wines from administration, safeguarding the future of nine wine bars and ensuring job security for 171 Vagabond employees. This move comes after Vagabond faced challenges, leading to administration last month.

This collaboration with Vagabond is poised to bolster Majestic’s growth strategy, enhancing its existing customer relationships and engaging with a younger wine-loving demographic. With plans to further expand the Vagabond brand, Majestic is set to leverage its expertise in customer relationship management and offer enhanced Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualifications to both staff and patrons.

Originating from a single wine shop in Fulham in 2010, Vagabond has evolved into a reputable chain of wine bars, celebrated for their focus on discovery and immersive experiences. Each bar boasts an extensive selection of over 100 premium wines, served via cutting-edge self-service wine dispensers, alongside hosting various events such as cheese and wine masterclasses and corporate gatherings.

The acquisition by Majestic signifies a continued commitment from both Majestic and its investor, Fortress Investment Group, to the future of experiential retail and hospitality. Since Fortress’s acquisition in December 2019, Majestic has been on an upward trajectory, opening new stores, expanding its team, and significantly investing in staff development. It has also grown its Majestic Commercial division, supplying premium venues and aiming to become a leading supplier to the UK’s hospitality sector.

Majestic’s CEO, John Colley, expressed enthusiasm about the new partnership: “We are delighted to have secured this partnership with Vagabond Wines and are looking forward to working with the team to share our collective passion, expertise and love of wine. The completion of this deal marks the start of a long-term partnership and we are committed to investing in the Vagabond business, with the potential to open new wine bars across the UK when the right opportunities arise.

“The combination of the two businesses presents exciting new opportunities for us to grow our customer base, take the Majestic brand to a younger audience and further elevate Vagabond’s product proposition by working alongside our fast-growing on-trade supply division, Majestic Commercial.”

Matt Fleming, Vagabond’s Managing Director, also shared his optimism: “In Majestic, we believe we have found the perfect partner to enhance the unique strengths of the Vagabond business and drive a new phase of profitable growth. Vagabond’s bars help our customers discover unique, quality wines in a highly experiential setting – values that align perfectly with what Majestic’s colleagues do every single day in their stores.

“We are looking forward to working with the Majestic team to accelerate our expansion, and help even more wine consumers to discover new and interesting wines.”


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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