Brexit could push up the price of wine, Majestic Wine boss Rowan Gormley says

Rowan Gormley, chief executive of Majestic Wine, said that all imported goods would suffer price rises if Brexit goes ahead

Hazel Sheffield
Thursday 23 June 2016 10:22
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Britons drink over 354 million litres of EU-produced wine each year
Britons drink over 354 million litres of EU-produced wine each year

Wine prices could rise if the UK votes to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum, according to the head of the largest specialist wine retailer in the UK.

Rowan Gormley, chief executive of Majestic Wine, said that the supply chain would not be affected.

But he said that all imported goods would suffer price rises if Brexit leads to falls in the value of the pound, including wine.

"If a Brexit does happen and that results in the sustained fall in value of the pound, all imported products will have to go up in cost over time and wine will be no exception to that," Gormley said.

Gormley was unphased by the prospect of wine prices rising because Majestic's competitors would suffer the same fate, according to Retail Week.

But he said that higher prices would not help the market to grow.

Gormley made the comments as Majestic announced its first sales growth in four years, one year into a turnaround plan.

The plan was put together by Gormley, who became chief executive when Majestic bought Naked Wines, a wine-buying crowdfunding platform, in April 2015.

All you need to know about the EU referendum

Headline profits were down 30 per cent to £15 million because of the cost of the acquisition and extra investment in stores, Majestic said.

Britons drink over 354 million litres of EU-produced wine each year, but that amount has dropped in the last few years as consumers have looked to New World wines from places like Argentina and New Zealand.

Former chief executives of Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, M&S and B&Q have said that a vote to leave the EU could have severe consequences for food prices in the UK.

A drop in the value of the pound, plus disruptions to the supply chain, may cause food prices to spike, making the average UK household £580 a year worse off, the business leaders said.

The union USDAW calculated the £580 figure using the expected fall in sterling together with expected new tariffs imposed on imported goods, including food, drink and clothing.

The UK votes on whether or not to stay in the EU on June 23.

The EU referendum debate has so far been characterised by bias, distortion and exaggeration. So until 23 June we we’re running a series of question and answer features that explain the most important issues in a detailed, dispassionate way to help inform your decision.

What is Brexit and why are we having an EU referendum?

Will we gain or lose rights by leaving the European Union?

What will happen to immigration if there's Brexit?

Will Brexit make the UK more or less safe?

Will the UK benefit from being released from EU laws?

Will leaving the EU save taxpayers money and mean more money for the NHS?

What will Brexit do to UK trade?

How Brexit will affect British tourism

What will Brexit mean for British tourists booking holidays in the EU?

Will Brexit help or damage the environment?

Will Brexit mean that Europeans have to leave the UK?

What will Brexit mean for British expats?

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