Firstly, I guess it makes sense to introduce myself: I’m Emma and until 2 weeks ago, I was the Manager in our Twickenham store. I recently made the move to Majestic’s Head Office where I now look after our website content – believe me – it’s no mean feat trying to keep track of Majestic’s roughly 800 strong product range!
Whilst I was in Retail, I was asked to be part of the initial roll out of Majestic’s latest initiative: The Wine Course. Thanks to all the fantastic feedback from our customers, we realised that many of you knew a little about wine but largely based your purchasing decisions upon price (and sometimes labels!). Many are keen to learn more and take their knowledge to the next level so this is why we developed the The Wine Course concept.
We’re now at the stage where the majority of our managers have been trained to run The Wine Course which covers everything from Grapes to Glass with a very popular section on Food and Wine matching thrown in for good measure. Having personally run several of these courses and seen about 30 customers enjoy them, the feedback has been incredible: where else can you have a completely free, informal session with a small group of people with a similar interest in wine?
All the stores are given autonomy over when they run their courses as in the majority of cases, they’re run after normal opening hours to allow a more relaxed environment and the staff give up their evenings accordingly. Without giving too much away(!): we open a range of wines to demonstrate the difference climate can make on wines of the same grape variety and a champagne to demonstrate how sparkling wine is produced with a different method and then we discuss how to get the most out of tasting a wine so that you can make an informed decision about a wine’s quality and provenance as opposed to a simple ‘I like/I don’t like’. The Food & Wine matching section at the end of the session has resulted in me having several customers returning to see me to ask for advice about wine selections for their forthcoming dinner parties and the overwhelming consensus has been ‘we had no idea you lot all knew so much’. I think these courses offer a fantastic introduction into the fascinating world of wine for our customers where no question is deemed too silly and they also go a long way towards engendering customers trust in our expert advice!
Today is the first time we’ve advertised these courses on our website and, by the end of the year, we hope to have them available in most stores. If you want to see more, check out our webpage www.majestic.co.uk/thewinecourse and get a feel for the course by having a look at the video clip above. To find out if your local store is running The Wine Course, you can use the store locator on our homepage and once you click on ‘store details’ it will tell you whether or not that specific store is running the course. If it’s not, do check the next couple of stores on the list. The evidence to date suggests the courses are rather popular, so I would suggest getting your name on a list at a store near you sooner rather than later!
Emma – Online Commercial Manager