Naked Wines sees sales lifted by Covid-19 lockdown

·2-min read
A barman pours a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau wine in a bistrot in Paris, France: REUTERS
A barman pours a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau wine in a bistrot in Paris, France: REUTERS

High demand for alcohol during the Covid-19 lockdown has helped Naked Wines boost first quarter sales by 77%.

Naked Wines gave the update alongside revealing John Walden, a former boss of Argos, intends to step down as chairman and leave the board after the annual meeting on August 6, due to personal reasons.

Ian Harding, chair of the remuneration committee and non-executive director, will be appointed as chairman until his scheduled retirement from the board in summer 2021.

Naked Wines, the online-only subscription business which delivers wine to customers’ homes for as little as £20 a month and which helps crowdfund independent winemakers, said sales last month surged 67% from a year earlier.

That helped lift revenues for the three months to June 30, when the Covid-19 lockdown was still in place and when pubs and restaurants were closed.

The group said: “The board continues to believe that Naked is ideally positioned to be a long-term winner from the inflection in consumer demand for online wine as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

It cautioned that uncertainty as to the extent and duration that current trading conditions will persist means that the firm is not providing full guidance for the financial year.

Outgoing chairman Walden said: “It was a difficult personal decision to step down at this juncture however, it is the right decision for myself and Naked Wines. I leave the business in a strong position to grow and to realise its promise for an extraordinary future. I wish the team every success in the years to come."

Naked Wines replaced the Majestic Wines name in August last year after a £95 million deal to sell the “Majestic” retail store business to Fortress Investment Group was agreed.

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