Retailer McColl's racks up sixth year of sales growth

Retail chain McColl's notched up its sixth year in a row of rising sales as it hit its target for 1,000 convenience stores across the UK.

The RS McColl owner said it performed 'robustly' in the fourth quarter. Picture: Gordon McBrearty
The RS McColl owner said it performed 'robustly' in the fourth quarter. Picture: Gordon McBrearty

The group, which trades under the RS McColl banner north of the Border, posted a 1.9 per cent rise in sales over the year to 27 November, thanks to expansion efforts that have seen it grow to 1,001 convenience shops.

It is also waiting for clearance from the competition watchdog for its takeover of 298 stores from the Co-operative to boost its chain further.

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But with the boost from new stores stripped out, like-for-like sales remained under pressure, falling by 1.7 per cent in the fourth quarter and 1.9 per cent over the full year. This marked a slight improvement on the 1.8 per cent drop seen in the previous three months.

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Same-store sales in its newsagents and standard convenience stores fell 3.3 per cent over the full year, but McColl’s said the performance was better in recently acquired and converted stores, where like-for-like sales lifted 0.8 per cent.

Jonathan Miller, chief executive of McColl’s, said the business traded “robustly” in the fourth quarter, with full-year results set to match City forecasts.

He added: “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.”

McColl’s, which floated on the London market in 2014, is scheduled to report its annual results on 27 February.