MAJESTIC Wine, which has store in Southampton, is to embark on a store closure plan as part of a wider transformation that will see the group swallow extra costs.

The specialist wine retailer did not specify the number of outlets it will close but boss Rowan Gormley said he had “no choice”, adding that he will aim to “minimise job losses”.

Majestic trades from around 200 stores in the UK.

As part of the restructuring, Majestic will also rebrand as Naked Wines following its takeover of the group in 2015 and invest a further £6 million a year in the business.

This is expected to be funded by migrating customers and stores to the Naked brand, asset sales and high street closures.

However, the company warned that it will take a largely non-cash restructuring charge of up to £10 million this year, with further pain in 2020.

Majestic has also put the 2019 dividend under review.

Shares fell by more 7% to 251p following the announcement.

Mr Gormley added: “We also believe that a transformed Majestic business does have the potential to be a long-term winner, but that we risk not maximising the potential of Naked if we try to do both.

“Therefore we have taken a decision to focus all of our capital and energies into delivering the long-term potential of Naked, and releasing value from Majestic.”

In January Majestic said that the crucial Christmas season, in which the group usually delivers around 30% of its annual sales, proved more challenging than expected due to economic uncertainty and weak consumer confidence.

Majestic added on Monday that it expects to meet its sales target of £500 million this year and anticipates profits, excluding restructuring charges, in line with consensus.

Majestic, which has more than million customers in Britain, the United States and Australia, has lost trade to discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl UK, and online rivals offering cheaper wines.

Naked Wines is an online wine retailer founded by Rowan Gormley in 2008

Its customers (called Angels) fund independent winemakers from around the world, in return for wines at self-described “wholesale prices”.

Most wines sold by Naked Wines are not available on the retail market.