McColl’s like-for-likes drop as it eyes store expansion

McColl’s has posted a fall in its full-year like-for-likes despite overall sales edging up as the retailer further drives bricks-and-mortar expansion.

The convenience group posted a 1.9% fall in like-for-like sales in the 52 weeks to November 27, although total revenue was up 1.9% during the same period.

The retailer attributed its declining like-for-likes to flagging sales across its newsagent and standard convenience store outlets, which were down 3.3% overall.

By contrast, like-for-like sales were up 0.8% across stores that McColl’s acquired and converted ”between 2014-2015, which have traded for over 12 months” .

Post Offices and contactless tech

The convenience retailer rolled out contactless payment across its store estate in its fourth quarter and had 559 in-store Post Offices in operation across its outlets by the end of the period.

The retailer, which agreed a deal in July to acquire 298 Co-op convenience stores, opened 58 new stores during the year, taking its total number of convenience outlets to 1,001. The retailer operates 1,375 stores overall, including 374 newsagents.

McColl’s submission to acquire Co-op’s convenience stores is pending approval with the Competitions and Markets Authority, which is expected to announce its findings at the end of this month.

Neighbourhood presence

Chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “I am delighted to announce that with the recent opening of our new Erdington store, we have achieved our target of operating 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.

“This is a significant milestone in our strategy to grow our neighbourhood presence and serve more McColl’s customers.

“The business has traded robustly in the final quarter with total sales for the full year up 1.9% and we expect our overall financial performance for the year to be in line with the board’s expectations.”

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