UK wine warehouse Majestic is so desperate for new sites it's offering £1000 of free wine to anyone who comes up with one.

Majestic – which yesterday posted a 30% rise in profits over the last year – wants to ‘saturate’ the UK with stores. It aims to open another 50 over the next few years.

‘We’ve always said UK saturation would be 150 stores, and we have 100 now,’ spokeswoman Alex Gilson told decanter.com. ‘We would ideally like to have more in Scotland and the north of England as Majestic has traditionally been southern based.’

The company – which only sells wine by the case – recently bought out another warehouse chain, the Wine and Beer Company, whose four French stores in Calais, Cherbourg and Le Havre it is in the process of revamping and rebranding.

Now Majestic is offering staff and the general public a prize of £1000 (€1,548) if they can find a site suitable for a new opening.

The catch is that Majestic has very exact criteria. A site must be near a major junction, have free car parking, and be very big. Disused car showrooms or garages are favoured.

Pre-tax profits for the year to 1 April rose to £5.9m (€9.13m). Commenting on the rise, CEO Tim How said sales of wine from Italy and Spain, and South Africa, showed ‘particularly strong growth’. Sparkling wine and Champagne also did well.

How said he saw room for another 50 stores over the next six years. Two new stores – in Bromley and Leicester – open this year.

Written by Adam Lechmere25 June 2002