McColl's like-for-like sales down 0.9% in third quarter

Convenience chain McColl’s saw its like-for-like sales fall by 0.9% in its third quarter after trade was impacted by supply chain disruption following the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

Total revenue was up 0.6% in the 13 weeks to 26 August and by 12% in the year to date.

The retailer said its transition to new supplier Morrisons in 1,300 stores completed in mid-August, which was ahead of schedule.

Jonathan Miller, McColl’s chief executive, said: “The accelerated rollout of 1,300 stores to Morrisons supply is now complete, including all 700 stores formerly serviced by P&H. The rapid rate of transition has been a fantastic achievement, being delivered in less than nine months, and in the face of unprecedented disruption in the sector and for our business.”

McColl’s continued to invest in its store estate in the period with 26 store refreshes completed in the quarter. This brought the total number of store refreshes to 80, with the stores delivering average sales uplifts above 5%. The retailer also opened seven new convenience stores.

With its new supply chain partner in place, McColl’s said it will now focus on day-to-day operations, including improving availability and rebuilding trade in those stores most affected by the disruption.

Miller added: “Our new supply arrangement also brings with it the supermarket quality Safeway range, which will help us to improve our customer experience and neighbourhood convenience offering. We have also continued to execute our strategy and improve the quality of the estate through further store refreshes and acquisitions.”

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