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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

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McColl's accelerates convenience focus

Retail group upgrades stores with new focus as well as revamping its Morrisons-supplied Safeway range

McColl's accelerates convenience focus

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Retail group McColl’s has proclaimed that its rebuilding operation is gathering momentum, with the company putting a greater emphasis on convenience going forward. 

The group this week released half-yearly results for the 26 weeks to 26 May 2019, reporting sales up 0.1 per cent to £611.1 million, and like-for-like sales up one per cent. Pre-tax profit was £200,000, down from £2.3m in 2018.

McColl’s suffered supply chain disruption last year, and has since put the focus on improving availability, implementing full range reviews, developing the Safeway range and investing in its estate through Project Refresh. 

“The key priorities that we outlined for this year were to stabilise the business and to refocus on retail execution following a challenging 2018,” said chief executive Jonathan Miller. “We have made good progress on both of these fronts whilst also maintaining strong capital discipline, reducing debt whilst sustaining appropriate levels of investment.”

Miller said McColl’s has completed 17 store refreshes in the first half of the year, including ten stores as part of a trial of the Morrisons Daily fascia. “This trial is helping to inform our thinking in terms of range development and is an opportunity to explore the potential for this type of format,” he explained. “The early response from customers has been positive and we will continue to evaluate the trial over the coming months.”

The retailer has also opened three new convenience stores to replace existing stores, and Miller revealed that McColl’s is “building a pipeline of acquisitions for the second half of the year.

The Safeway range, provided by Morrisons, is also currently being refined, with long-term multibuys on fresh products starting to be introduced. 

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